June 11, 2012


Your_sisters_sisterMumblecore standard-bearer Lynn Shelton (“Humpday”) shows promising signs of maturing with this originally executed romantic comedy.

Shelton regular Mark Duplass doesn’t stray far from the man-child character he normally plays. The first anniversary of Jack’s (Duplass) brother's death incites him to hilariously, though pathetically, vent his spleen at a party where his deceased brother’s ex-girlfriend Iris (Emily Blunt) is in attendance. Iris recognizes the shambles of Jack’s rudderless existence, and sends him on a retreat at her dad’s tranquil cabin in Puget Sound. Jack is more than a little surprised to find Iris’s lesbian sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) inhabiting the cabin when he arrives by bicycle in the middle of the night.

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A little witty repartee, over a bottle of tequila, leads to an unexpected exchange of bodily fluids in a gut-wrenchingly funny sex scene. Iris’s unexpected arrival the next day sets the stage for a clash of wills in the context of embarrassing secrets and ulterior motives.

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“Your Sister’s Sister” is not without its flaws. Some plot points are too exaggerated for the film’s naturalistic tone. Still, the partially improvised dialogue rings like a bell more often than not. Emily Blunt is something of a revelation in an independent-film context where her remarkable talents shine bright. Lynn Shelton probably isn't the next Woody Allen, but she shows great promise here.

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Rated R. 91 mins.

3 Stars

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