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Nov 22, 2012


          Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark Duplass and Mike Birbiglia.


                   Lynn Shelton.


                 Your Sister's Sister is an indie comedy/drama from director Lynn Shelton featuring some very lovely and natural performances from three actors about characters who spends a few days at a cabin somewhere in the woods. Its delightful and a much needed change of pace always to watch these types of indie movies. Its good, people should do it, they are quite relaxing and just wonderful. I didn't knew much about this movie and it turned out to be quite a unique experience, its fresh and the way this movie is being made is something i rarely see. This movie was made in just 12 days over a very low budget and mostly improvised script which is quite visible on-screen but it doesn't actually effects the overall movie per say. Movie begins with Jack (Duplass) who is still struggling over the death of his brother a year ago. We see a gathering of friends and people he knew sharing things about him, how they knew him and how was he like to them. We also see Iris (Blunt) who is Jack's friend and his brother's girlfriend who can see there is something up with him after he creates a bit of a scene during the gathering. She presents him a friendly offer, to take a bit time off from all this and to go to her father's cabin which is quite isolated and so he'll have time to go through stuff, think about his life and where it is heading and get over some of the things that has been proving difficult for him. Jack happily arrives there on his bicycle. He has a very hilarious encounter with Iris's sister Hannah (DeWitt) who is a lesbian and has recently broken up with her partner. She is staying in the cabin for quite a while without anyone letting know so its interesting to see how much scared both of them gets.

                Jack has trouble sleeping in his new bed later at night. He finds Hannah sitting alone and drinking heavily. Jack joins her in the drinking and slowly and steadily they talk about different things, mostly relationships. Their conversation grows more personal bit by bit and a point comes when even though they said they wont do anything like that but eventually they want nothing more but sex from each other. This movie has lots of talking, characters sit together and they just talk, talk and talk. Now there are many ways different directors who have shown characters indulge in endless conversations depending upon their personal style and the need for a certain type of them for a movie. Here its like these characters are just acting free flow, they are letting themselves loose. They have been through a lot lately and now they are in this cabin away from city or town in an isolated part with lots of scenery, trees, flowers, lakes and hills. The characters realize that this is where they need to discover themselves by pouring everything out, sorting themselves out and just make the most of their time here. What we later see is how much they are holding off from each other, how much complex the situations get as their desires, secrets and their free will collides to create several rifts that sets them apart.

                Both Jack and Hannah have sex and the next morning, Iris unexpectedly shows up. Jack meets and greets here pretending to have just came back from jogging and doesn't let her know that he had a "situation" last night. Iris herself gets surprised to see her sister who she haven't seen for quite a while all of a sudden here. Jack begs Hannah not to tell Iris about what happened. Iris is dying to catch up with everything that happened with Hannah, you can see how eager she is and how much she loves her. Jack becomes this typical character from some CBS sitcom as he seems to be sitting on a rocket about to get fired on space. He tries not to sound, act, behave and be as if something happened but he fails. Hannah immediately gets a hint about Jack's feelings for her sister Iris, there we starts to suspect Hannah's intentions. If she is actually lesbian, why feel anything for a guy? Iris herself while talking to Hannah tells her that she is in love with him. We find out that the reason Hannah broke up with her partner was because of her desire for a child. Hannah does something the night she has sex with Jack which comes off as a shock to both Jack and Iris and suddenly everything falls apart.

                I have been seeing Mark Duplass a lot lately acting in indie comedies rather than directing and believe me he is good at it. I liked him in this movie and he plays his character in a very natural way. Emily Blunt is kind of a surprise, she actually does a nice job in this movie even though a lot of times it feel too stiff. On the other hand, Rosemarie DeWitt is a stunner as always. She has been in many indie movies and she knows how to be in them. Hannah and Iris feels like a perfect team, the ultimate sister love and bond. Towards the end, after the craziness settles, we see them slowly getting back together as if nothing happened. One thing is for sure that everyone involved in this movie knew exactly how everyone around them are and that they have a grasp of human complexities and inner weirdness that makes up for what we really are. Its a different experience for me to see these actors do their best while bringing out their own self through the characters they are playing which ultimately helps both the actors with their performances that feels real and the characters who feels quite natural and authentic in their most organic and strangest selves. This movie has many melodramatic notes which somewhat feels awkward rather than the uncomfortable comic situations. The screenplay has some heft to it, its intentions are good but in the end, Shelton gives too much liberty to the actors to do their best to hide the imperfections of her own script resulting in more mild misfires than its overall wonderful charm. I would love to spend a day or two in the place they shot the movie, its exactly where i would love to stay. The third act might be a bit too problematic for some as the unexpected twists and secret agendas comes to a point where whatever they choose to do feels quite unbelievable. The movie ends on a very ambiguous note but no matter what happens next with them, we know that they love each other and will always be there for each other.

Grade: B