Movie Review: Your Sister’s Sister
A trio of refreshing characters and some genuine performances are just enough to save a rudimentary and beleaguered storyline, one which finds latent love ready to blossom, and sexual missteps causing anxiety. Your Sister’s Sister, written and directed by Lynn Shelton, star’s two of the dramatic-comedy genre’s suddenly ubiquitous faces in Emily Blunt and Mark Duplass, and the pitch-perfect Rosemary Dewitt in a familiar yet enjoyable tale.
In a rut and still mourning the loss of his brother, Jack is directed by his best friend Iris (Blunt) to get away. Donning a backpack and hopping on his bike, Jack heads to Iris’s secluded and idyllic cabin to clear his head. When Iris’s sister Hannah (Dewitt) turns out to have the same idea, their three worlds becomes more intertwined than ever.
Their late night encounter leads to a night of drinking and commiserating, Jack’s loss being his brotherand Hannah’s being her long-term girlfriend, and the two end up having a night of drunken, awkward, and noteworthy sex.
That moment is of course easily predictable, but the movie isn’t trying to be cunning. Iris surprises Jack the next morning, and she is in turn surprises Hannah, but none of that is surprising to the audience. Nor is the scramble to figure out what to tell Iris and what to withhold. As those discussions emerge, along with some private sister-to-sister chats, hidden feelings rise to the surface.
Save for an opening party scene where Jack has a minor breakdown, the film has only three characters, and a beautiful and effectively used setting. The serenity of the environment is a backdrop for the internal turmoil within each character.
Like most of the film, the ending is nothing shocking, but the path is genuinely enjoyable, with all three actors possessive of near-perfect comedic timing and endearing awkwardness. Late-night drunken sexual encounters among people who probably shouldn’t be having them is an occurrence everywhere in movies, but while this film makes it a pivotal point, it deals with it realistic—that is, not overly dramatically. It’s duly pointed out that Iris and Jack’s brother slept together, as they dated before he died.
There is the expected arc towards the finale, where sad music plays and we find our trio wandering about the wilderness pensively, but that’s fine. Because there is little surprising or cathartic in the film, Your Sister’s Sister, which could be a reference to either Iris or Hannah, is charming, simply, filled with less drama but far more interesting conversations than most.