Your Sister's Sister – Movie Review
By Ron Wilkinson Jun 21, 2012, 13:41 GMT
Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family\'s island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack\'s drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris\' sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days. ...more
Lynn Shelton’s fourth feature after her well-received “Humpday” demands more patience than understanding.
Set and filmed in the cloudy pallet of Seattle, the “Your Sister’s Sister” echoes the flat grey of the skies with every scene. While this provides ample space for the films message to develop, it can be hard to stay awake. Like many people in the city, the movie seems to suffer from chronic Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Mark Duplass (“Humpday”) plays Jack, distraught brother of the deceased Tim. Even though Tim has been gone for a year, much to Jack’s dismay, his spirit lingers on. Like sisters Iris and Hannah, Jack apparently had some bad blood with his deceased brother. This is hard to understand since the two apparently had in made in the shade. They were smart, well spoken, well groomed, funny and had enough jolly friends to make a dozen beer commercials and never see the same face twice.
In spite of his good fortune, Jack felt inferior to Tim. He still feels inferior a year after his death and probably will always feel inferior. In the events that transpire, Jack, Iris and Hannah will all learn to change what they can change and deal with what they cannot. This is a film about moving on. However, it takes an awfully long time to get that message across.
Emily Blunt (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “The Young Victoria”) plays Iris, Tom’s girl friend at the time of his death. Like jack, she cannot accept the fact of Tom’s passing. In spite of Jack’s confident self-abuse at Tom’s memorial party, she is a little obsessed with Jack’s remarkable likeability.
In fact, the character of Jack is a little too likeable to believe. He does the lamest things and says the lamest things and yet both women in the film fall for him. This is all the more remarkable for the fact that the other woman, Iris’ sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt—“Rachel Getting Married” and “Mad Men”), has just broken up with her lesbian partner of seven years.
This love triangle is short of enthralling from the start. The Puget Sound setting is interesting, what with the ferries, islands, and all, but that only carries the ball for the first few minutes. After that it is, like SAD itself, demoralizing.
Iris suggests the bitter and distraught Jack take some time off at her father’s deluxe (in a frontier sort of way) beachfront cabin on an island outside of Seattle. There Jack runs into Hannah who turns out to be on a similar sabbatical after her breakup. The two get sloshed on dad’s tequila and what will happen, happens.
As it turns out, the two sisters are even more estranged than were Tom and Jack. Apparently, Jack’s fecklessness gives the two a reason to appreciate one another and they manage to come together in his presence.
As much as writer/director Shelton tried to prevent it, some of the bourgeoisie self-satisfied smugness of the crown jewel of the Northwest made its way into this film. Everything is a simply too pat, too self-assured. In fact, the characters themselves are a little too pat and self-assured to be true neurotics.
Now and then, a beam of light breaks through with a hint of Woody Allen, but it is quickly quashed by the amazingly one-dimensional cinematography, screenplay and delivery. The entire film seems to be shot in two shades of grey, light grey and dark grey. The acting follows suit.
Apparently, Rachel Weisz was originally cast as one of the two sisters. If that had come to pass it might have the film some of the gravity that it needs to make an impact. As it is, there are too many shades of grey with hardly a let up.
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Directed and Written by: Lynn Shelton
Starring: Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt
Release Date: June 15, 2012
MPAA: Not Rated
Running Time: 90 Minutes
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CEmily Blunt Biography -
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