Movie review: Your Sister’s Sister

July 16, 2011 – I have a bit of a girl crush on Emily Blunt.

That is one of the main reasons I went a wee bit overboard to check out the movie “Your Sister’s Sister” over the weekend.

It’s been playing in independent theaters in selected cities since May, but when I checked for starting times on Saturday morning, I discovered that last week was its final run in Philly, and the closest theater showing it was about an hour away in central New Jersey.

But I’m an adventurous soul, known to do crazier things to take in a flick, such drive two and a half hours to meet up with a fellow movie fan friend who lives in Rochester, N.Y. at our halfway point. So, an hour’s drive is merely child’s play.

I first recall seeing Blunt in “The Devil Wears Prada” as the tense and neurotic assistant to Meryl Streep’s editor/devil, and I didn’t care for her or the character she was portraying. Things began to change slowly when I saw her next in “The Jane Austen Book Club”, but I still was hesitant to make that final commitment. However, this year, when I caught her in “Salmon Fishing in Yemen” and “The Five Year Engagement” she completely won me over.

The premise for “Your Sister’s Sister” seemed appealing in the previews, but the real draw for me was Blunt. She, Mark Duplass and Rosemarie DeWitt, are fantastic together in this film and play off of each other perfectly, which is a good thing considering the three of them are alone in a cabin in the woods and carry 90% of the film. Aside from the opening scene at a party, it really is a three-character study.

It’s also the first film I’ve seen from writer/director Lynn Shelton, who gave us other Indy movies I’m not familiar with such as “Humpday” and “We Go Way Back”. Turns out I’m more familiar with Shelton’s directorial roles, since she is responsible for several episodes of “Mad Men”.

Shelton proves that you don’t need a big budget to make a compelling movie. She highlights real emotions and struggles in these three characters that everyone can relate to, yet makes it seem as far from cliché as you can get.

It’s a year after his brother’s death and Jack (Duplass) is still struggling with the loss. (I’ll also admit to a bit of a crush on Duplass; his character is so injured, yet so hilariously charming.) His best friend Iris (Blunt) suggests he go to her father’s cabin on a remote island off Seattle so he can spend some time alone and deal with his emotions. Once he arrives, he runs into Iris’ sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) who is also hiding out and reeling from emotional turmoil of her own. That leads to a night of many shots of tequila, and an unexpected and extremely awkward sexual encounter. When Iris arrives the next day, the two do everything they can to hide their hook up from her, especially once she admits to her sister that she may have feelings for him.

Since the movie isn’t playing in wide release, its reach is small, and that’s a shame because it’s funny and charming, and the masses should see it. The acting is top-notch and the dialogue is sharp and witty. It’s definitely a film that will appeal to the Indy crowd, as well as those who enjoy a good romantic comedy, though it plays out with more sophistication and less formula than your average rom-com.

If you live outside of the New York / Philadelphia / Chicago / Los Angeles area you probably won’t find “Your Sister’s Sister” playing near you. The good news is that it will be released on DVD in September, so you won’t have to wait too long to take a chance on a little Indy film that will thoroughly charm you out the wazoo.


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A girl trying to live the dream.

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