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“Your Sister’s Sister” – Review (POSITIVE)

July 1, 2012

I badly wanted to see a movie featuring Mark Duplass while I attended Sundance this year. Mark & his brother Jay are like unspoken heroes to me. They’re these new kind of filmmakers, in a sense that they take their projects to a more ambitious level, greater freedom in making the movie, as well as writing them. However, Mark is starting to really shine as an actor. He’s on a hit series, “The League” and Mark’s choices as an actor are eminent; they’re roles of the every man, the geek, the true believer, the friend, it goes on. I do anything to work with him one day, I’m sure he’s someone great to work with on a film.

“Your Sister’s Sister” was yet another film Mark was featured in at this years Sundance. It’s a complicated tale of sorts; people love other people, then it’s sort of in reverse, then other people lie to others, and that lie is flipped, and so on. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers because the movies overall complication is a major plot point that shouldn’t be spoiled, and thankfully it’s not spoiled in the previews for the film.

Jack (Duplass) has been dealing with the death of his brother quite roughly. It’s been a year since his brother’s untimely passing and during that time he’s become unemployed, living in a tent, and has become a bit more sarcastic to the point where it comes off being a tad harsh. Still, Jack has his best friend Iris (Emily Blunt), who was Jack’s brother’s ex. Iris suggests that Jack needs a week to himself, so she enforces Jack to stay at her father’s home on one of the islands of the coast of Seattle. Jack discovers that he’s not alone as he learns that Iris’ sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) is staying over as well, dealing with her own problems. A drunken one night stand between the two leaves them question what should they do next; tell Iris or don’t tell her? Meanwhile we learn that Iris has been in love with Jack for quite some time now, and having her come over as the third party counterpart isn’t making things any easier for Jack & Hannah.

Lynn Shelton reunites with Duplass, their previous collaboration was the awkward comedy “Humpday”, like that film, the strong use of improvisation used throughout the heavily induced dialogue scenes works hand in hand. Duplass has this sort of witty charm to the character of Jack, to me, he reminds me of an old buddy of mine that I would just have great riffing discussions with over a beer. Jack is a classic example of the average Joe-shmo. He’s a little sloppy when it comes to saying the right thing, but when he finally makes his point clear; he recovers with the dry humor. Emily Blunt & Rosemarie DeWitt give terrific supporting performances, since the film is basically these three together for the entire 90 minutes, it was imperative to have a cast that works, so they can give off a clear sense of on screen chemistry.

The ending may seem a little bit of a cock-tease for some, and normally when a movie ends like “Inception” I call it being lazy, but here, I found it just fitting, since the characters go down such a deceptive path, that their last bit of it would be a great big tease to the audience.  For 90 minutes this film did feel a little overlong, few of the scenes tended to drag at times, but when it picks up, especially in the third Act, it really makes up for it.


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