I love when you find a film entirely by surprise. I happened to be out taking a long walk around Philadelphia and needed a nice respite. That’s when we walked into one of the most popular art house theaters in town and decided to give this little known film a shot.
The film is Your Sister’s Sister starring Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass and Rosemarie DeWitt.
This is another slice-of-life film where much of the going’s on feel both realistic but also, at times, perhaps a bit mundane. When done poorly such films feel like little more than watching someone else’s boring home videos but when done right it can be a wonderful experience.
Here we encounter Jack (Duplass) and Iris (Blunt) at the one-year anniversary of the death of Jack’s brother. We find out that Iris was once serious about the brother but they parted before his demise. We also realize that Jack is far from over the death. Iris, who is now friends with Jack, sees a friend in need and suggests he reboot his life by dropping everything (and since Jack’s unemployed there’s not much to drop) and heading, alone, to her father’s cabin on a secluded island off the coast of Seattle where nothing will come between him and some much-needed soul-searching and recovery.
Jack hesitantly agrees and arrives at the cabin only to find it occupied by Iris’ sister Hannah (DeWitt). After a tense introduction Hannah explains that she’s there for similar reasons having just broken up with her girlfriend of seven years. With few, if any, other options they agree to make the best of the situation and muster on.
From there the story unfolds in mesmerizing fashion. I was ready to despise the film before realizing it was written by a woman who saw it from a woman’s perspective. Much of the decision making here is very woman-centric and not at all handled in a way a man would go about things—or so I thought. Once the full story was finally laid before us all such concerns evaporated and I became a full convert.
All three of the main leads are pitch-perfect here. We grow to quickly understand (as much as you can) each of them and immediately become engrossed in each twist and turn of the ongoing dialogue. This is an example of a slice-of-life film done oh-so-right and that had me smiling for quite some time after its final credits.