Your Sister's Sister

Directed by Lynn Shelton
FACT Picturehouse
29th June - 9th July 2012

Review by Joe Coventry

A disturbing rom-com with little of either, nonetheless this movie raises some fundamental questions about what life is for.

An argument erupts over how good a dead person really was. His bereaved brother, Duplass, falls foul in the accolades game, respecting instead a flawed human being. The deceased's ex-partner (Blunt) steps in and sends him off to an island retreat to clear his head. In middle class America everything is possible: no work problems, no ties, no cost and no protesting female advice.

The hero arrives to find the sister's sister (DeWitt) already ensconced in the remote cabin. She is on the rebound from a seven year, lesbian relationship. An improbable half a bottle of tequila each later, they make love. This will be much to the chagrin of the original sister who arrives next morning with nefarious ideas of her own.

As the tenuous sub-plots unfold the scenery fills in for the slow moving action, marvellous slow panning of miasmal forest mists, thick with intrigue and mystery.

The import of the night before unfolds and the truth will out – sister is pitched against sister as the unfortunate man, having enjoyed unexpected, protected sex (or is it?) departs to ruminate and fume. While he sleeps rough, dragging his body around with frustrated angst, the realisation of what might be dawns on him when he sees some young babies in a restaurant.

The women, meanwhile, clinically dissect the options available with surgical veracity – head and shoulders in the emotional mind game ahead of the man, as the drama builds to its climax.

The scenario has been highly implausible, with more holes than a smelly cheese, and there is no chance that these 'luvvies' will argue it out on Jeremy Kyle. The right partnership prevails and the 'sperm snatcher' receives help from all round.

The film ends presaging a sequel and like the characters liberal use of the term, as they try to get a few laughs – fuck!

Review of 'Your Sister's Sister' by Colin Serjent

I am not normally a fan of romcoms but this is premier league stuff. Charming, in the truest sense of the word, with a capital C! It keeps you hooked from start to finish with some terrific acting - a lot of it brilliantly improvised by Jack (Mark Duplass) - one of the three main characters in this minor masterpiece of a film.

The other two are Iris (Emily Blunt), former boyfriend of Jack's brother, who died a year ago, and her lesbian half-sister Hannah (Rosemarie Dewitt).

Most of the movie takes place in a cabin, owned by Iris's dad, located in a scenic part of Seattle - some of the nature shots are breathtaking. Jack, who needs to get his head together after going on the bottle following his bereavement, takes up the offer by Iris to spend some time alone there.

But when he arrives at the cabin he is shocked to find Hannah, unbeknown to Iris, to be already there.

Following a heavy bout of drinking - tequila drunk like water - between the two of them, and subsequent sex, allied with the unexpected arrival of Iris, the film moves into a crucial phase, with each of the three of them hiding, then revealing secrets.

The quality of the acting goes up a notch or two, with some thoughtful and insightful dialogue, naturalistic interaction between the three and some truly heartfelt moments.

To round off a cracking film, the last reel leaves you guessing.

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