Movie Review: Your Sister's Sister
Austin360.com | Austin American-Statesman
Jack hasn't come to terms with his brother's death. As an adult, he wasn't especially close to brother Tom, and he isn't buying all of the nice things people are saying about Tom at a memorial party a year after his death.
So Jack (former Austinite Mark Duplass) interrupts the cheerful remembrances and recalls that Tom had been a bully as a kid — and that he had some other big flaws.
Sad-sack Jack is the death of the party, and you'll probably be wondering within the first five minutes of "Your Sister's Sister" whether you want to spend the next 90 minutes with this guy.
Luckily, Iris (Emily Blunt), who was Tom's romantic partner, comes to the rescue and makes Jack an offer to get away from all his troubles and spend a week or so in her family's cabin on a remote Pacific Northwest island.
Shortly after, Jack is pedaling his bicycle toward the cabin, and if you're thinking at this point that riding your bike to a vacation spot is a bit symptomatic of Pacific Northwest trendiness, you might be right. But it might be that Jack is just unemployed and can't afford a car.
Whatever the case, Jack arrives at the cabin in the evening and quickly discovers that he won't be alone. Iris' sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) is puttering around the house because she has recently fled a long-term relationship with her girlfriend.
While Hannah's gloom appears to be every bit a match for Jack's angst, it isn't long before the two are downing shots at the kitchen table and sharing stories.
And then they decide to share a bed.
Drunken nights often don't seem like much fun the next morning. And that's especially true for Jack and Hannah when they realize that Iris has decided to make a surprise appearance at the front door.
Hannah doesn't see the point in keeping their overnight tryst a secret, but Jack insists — in part because he thinks he might be in love with Iris. And Hannah sees the merits of Jack's ruse when her sister reveals that she's falling for Jack.
Writer-director Lynn Shelton navigates such emotionally rocky terrain with ease, having previously explored dysfunctional friendships in 2009's "Humpday," as well as in 2008's "My Effortless Brilliance."
She revels in failures, and her three stars seem to enjoy their flaws as well.
Duplass excels as the somewhat-schlumpy Jack — a persona that he has honed in "Humpday" as well as in other recent independent movies, including a minor role in "People Like Us," which also opens in Austin theaters today.
Blunt, who recently starred in "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," has a natural on-screen grace that's fun to watch unravel in "Your Sister's Sister."
And DeWitt, who played Rachel in "Rachel Getting Married," manages to mesh her wit with a touch of evil as the sister with a hidden agenda.
If you're curious as to where this will all lead, then "Your Sister's Sister" will be a good diversion. It's not rollicking summertime fare, and it won't offer easy answers. But it's an entertaining failure — just like its characters.