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With Jim Sabatini

Your Sister's Sister

Your Sister's Sister
Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass

Rated: R for language and some sexual content.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: June 15, 2012 Released by: IFC Films

Another low-budgeter from writer/director Lynn Shelton proves she is no flash in the pan with more of an elevated production and definitely in the casting department.
Her Your Sister's Sister (with decent word-of-mouth could gain wider distribution) stars Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass, and is set mostly on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest.
Jack (Duplass) gets a lift from best friend Iris (Blunt) by her letting him regroup at her cabin in said location after the anniversary of the death of his brother Ted whom Iris once dated.
The story's honesty and momentum develops from the unexpected visit of Iris's older sister, Hannah, acted by DeWitt with noticeable comic aplomb. After an intimate interlude fueled by tequila, things get more interesting when Iris herself turns up. It happens that Hannah is getting over a breakup with her longtime girlfriend.
Suffice to say, as in Shelton's "mumble-core" tale Humpday there is a triangle of sorts as a two of three try to keep quiet about their imprudence; a script obviously open to improvisation that a more ebullient Blunt (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married) seem to make more of a fully realized whole. It also helps that the director gets more than most from Duplass (whose Baghead some aficionados may recall minus the horror) in all of Jack's disheveled wit, especially in close-ups and reaction shots.
Some good establishing shots help set the stage for the drama to come which gets a bit heavy and lighter in dialogue which may diffuse the emotional impact for a while. Yet the plotting proves more efficient in a subdued, low-rent approach, as the director never goes for a determined slick product. Though it may be some time, the characters have a palpable empathy that ultimately heightens the payoff - an ambiguous, open-ended finale that is less melancholy than most of a bright, independent film of this quality.

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