For Reel

Your Sister’s Sister (2011)
July 24, 2012, 5:37 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Lynn Shelton

Until the disappointments of its final third, Your Sister’s Sister is one of the year’s great pleasures. Director Lynn Shelton, whose Humpday found attention several years ago due to its intriguing premise, has a knack for finding emotional honesty using only a loose frame of a plot. Though the dialogue is mostly improvised, it doesn’t suffer from having the rhythmless, meandering conversations of similar “mumblecore” efforts – the actors are so in control of their characters’ emotional states that, natural as they sound, the back-and-forths don’t feel formless and petty. Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Mark Duplass play the three characters who, although broadly defined, are essentially the vessels in which the actors can explore their jealousies, insecurities, and hopes. It comes as little surprise that things fall apart towards the end when the actors stop talking – a heavily-plotted third-act montage is lazy and all-too-predictable for a film otherwise pleasurable for its sense of spontaneity. As with Humpday, Shelton proves to be particularly strong with actors but not quite a great storyteller. Regardless, much can be forgiven, as the scenes between DeWitt and Blunt, especially, stand out as some of the year’s best.

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