Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 90 minutes
Release date: June 29, 2012
Directed by: Lynn Shelton
Genre: Comedy and Drama
OVERVIEW – Your Sister’s Sister
“Your Sister’s Sister” is a story about Iris, who invites her friend Jack to stay at her home, and her sister Hannah. Jack comes to the island getaway a year after the death of his brother, because he’s still suffering. Jack gets to the island and realizes he’s not the only one there; Iris’s sister, Hannah, is there, and she threatens Jack with a boat paddle to get him to leave.
After the confusion is cleared up, Jack and Hannah get to know one another. At this point, it’s revealed that Hannah is a lesbian, which is undoubtedly important in other parts of the movie. The two end up being drunk together, losing their inhibitions, and having to choose whether or not to tell Iris.
This movie has a little bit of something for everyone. Iris (Emily Blunt), Jack (Mark Duplass), and Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) form a relationship that results in a thoughtful film that is filled with different ideas. Some parts focus on relationships, betrayal, unrequited love, death, honesty, fear, forgiveness, and more, allowing everyone in the audience to easily understand and relate to the characters.
The movie takes place in a secluded area that doesn’t have phones, computers, or the usual distractions. This helps movie-goers focus on the storyline, instead of being sidetracked by one-off characters and telephone calls to move the storyline along. The rustic waterfront cottage provides a unique setting that is believable and simple, something that allows for character development. No major special effects or cinematics are used, which also adds to the realism of the story. The characters’ stories stand on their own, so there is no reason to have 3-D imagery, gag comedy moments, or other devices that are found in most movies today.
Approximately 75 percent of this movie’s dialog was improvised, which seems to have allowed the actors to create real relationships. The fantastic cast provides this movie with realism and life from only a 70-page script; this is not something often done in Hollywood.
The movie was originally released at the Toronto Film Fest, so director Lynn Shelton has answered many questions about the plot, characters, and more, which adds to the audience’s knowledge of the film ahead of time. With these facts in mind, like the information that the shoot only took 12 days, audience members can appreciate how smooth and appropriate this movie really is.
This movie does not lack surprises, so for the audience member who loves a solid storyline with a little bit of excitement here and there, “Your Sister’s Sister” is a perfect choice. The film shows how mature and level-headed the characters are when dealing with a pregnancy scare, and they also indulge in the idea of Jack and Iris’s relationship having been betrayed in a manner, which allows the film to discuss the relationship both girls have with one another.
The dialog in “Your Sister’s Sister” is sharp and intelligent, even during scenes in which you’d expect a lack of communication. When Jack and Hannah are drinking, for instance, the two actually have a deep conversation that allows the characters to loosen up and appear more realistic to the audience. The speech of the characters is free flowing, which may be because it is nearly all improvised. Either way, the cast does a fantastic job of making the characters feel realistic and relatable.
Like many people in emotional situations, the three characters make decisions and unexpected changes that are based on their emotions at particular points in the movie. The movie doesn’t lack surprises or twists, and viewers can look forward to seeing what else the movie will provide in each additional scene.
For people who may not like a cliffhanger, “Your Sister’s Sister” provides just that. At the end of the movie, viewers don’t get the closure of knowing what happens next in the plot. Perhaps this is because of a sequel in the making, but it leaves the story’s resolution up to the imagination of each individual. This could be done to promote thinking about the storyline or to avoid alienating any audience members.
Overall, “Your Sister’s Sister” is a great movie to watch on days when emotional and thoughtful movies are on the menu. It provides interesting moments, unexpected twists, and relationships that are sure to be appealing to viewers.
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