VOD film review: Your Sister’s Sister
James R | On 01, Mar 2017
Director: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt
Watch Your Sister’s Sister online in the UK: Apple TV (iTunes) / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / TalkTalk TV / Google Play
Threesomes. Awkward and potentially fraught with embarrassment, they’re not for everyone. That’s the kind of territory that Your Sister’s Sister threatens to enter, when Jack (Mark Duplass) is sent to a family holiday cabin by his best friend, Iris (Emily Blunt). Instructed to take a week’s time out to help grieve his brother’s recent death, he’s not thrilled at the prospect. “Will there be forks?” he asks. “I’ll have to stab myself in the face.” Things get even more unpleasant when Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) turns out to already be there, also trying to get her head straight after a recent break-up.
Well, they start out that way, but soon enough, a bottle of tequila appears and the pair begin to chat, sharing anecdotes, memories and laughs. What starts off friendly slowly becomes flirty and, before you know it, the pair have hopped into bed. They wake up together in the morning – which, of course, is the exact moment Iris decides to show up. Forget the forks. This is even more serious.
Hannah and Jack try to keep the affair secret from Hannah, but all that secrecy does is raise the question of why Jack cares what Hannah thinks. Does he like her? Does she like him? And what about Hannah?
Duplass, DeWitt and Blunt are at the top of their games as this trio of confused characters. Half-improvising their dialogue, their blundering banter and intimate exchanges all ring with authenticity, shifting the mood from funny to fraught, from intimate to uncomfortable, in the blink of an eye. Duplass’ grouchy exterior is compensated for by his easy charm, while Blunt’s improv skills build upon the Elmo scene in The Five Year Engagement beautifully. DeWitt, though, is the best of the three, turning her vegan lesbian into more than what could have been a gaggle of tropes and cliches, making it clear that her sisterly relationship is just as important as any romantic entanglement.
Director Lynn Shelton is on comfortable territory here, after such Mumblecore classics as Humpday. That raw truthfulness is in abundance, but this is also the most accessible she’s ever been, as she shoots the cabin with a soft, warm glow, using Blunt, in particular, to give everything an engaging tone that will welcome any newcomers to the genre. The finale wraps things up a little too neatly for the frank sincerity that’s gone before, but there’s so much to enjoy until then that it’s only a minor disappointment – with three characters pulling you in multiple directions for 90 minutes, this is one threesome that you’ll never regret afterwards.