It doesn’t take a big budget movie to deliver a big budget punch when it comes to quality at the box office during the summer movie season. Sometimes Hollywood makes a bold decision to release a low budget film right in the middle of their big-budget blockbuster season and gold is struck. Make no mistake, Your Sister’s Sister is this summer’s gold.
Directed by Lynn Shelton, Mark Duplass plays Jack, a slacker who has lost his brother within the past year and still remains largely depressed. Jack’s best friend is Iris (Emily Blunt) and feeling bad for him she sends him to her family’s vacation home to relax and get some alone time so that he can do some soul searching.
As he arrives he comes to find that Iris’ older sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) is already there. She’s there recovering from a breakup with her longtime girlfriend. After getting to know each other briefly and talking about their situations, the two of them wind up in bed together, sleeping with each other. But, what was intended to be no big deal turns into much more because before Jack can leave Hannah’s bedroom Iris unexpectedly shows up. And this is the start of the weekend’s unexpected turn of events.
The film was shot in a mere 12 days and one has to believe that the chemistry between this cast of characters must have been extremely remarkable. You never get a sense that there is anything but a natural flow of dialogue and conversation. Events and dialogue flow very naturally and seems extremely real.
Acting is spot on by all involved and Mark Duplass is excellent in his role as Jack. He has this natural ability to make you relate to the character and feel for his pain for his loss of his brother, and the questionable events that take place during the weekend in question.
Lynn Shelton has a great eye for understanding each scene that she’s directing and knowing exactly how to keep the dialogue going. It seems as though most of the film was seemingly improvised as although the plot is there, the dialogue flows so naturally. Timing is spot on and pacing is expertly done.
The only problem with the film is the ending itself. It seems a little too predictable and the movie seems to be heading in that directing the entire way. If you can make it past the end, you’re going to be very impressed with the film as a whole.
During a summer of huge blockbusters where quality is lacking, it’s refreshing to see a film that showcases quality over budget. Filmed in a mere 12 days on a minimal budget, Your Sister’s Sister proves that when there’s a good story to be told, and there’s great actors available to tell it, then there’s a great movie that can come from it. This is a movie that any movies fan and fan of human nature should definitely make it a point to go out and get a ticket to see this film.
FINAL GRADE: A –
Reel Film News Movie Review by Bill Ayres