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Your Sister's Sister

A comedy about doing the right thing with the wrong person. 

Year: 2012 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Lynn Shelton 
Starring: Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt  
An image from Your Sister's Sister

American cinema has a reputation for bombarding us with idealistic love stories, filled with clichéd dialogue, fairy-tale romances and unbelievable happy endings. But that was before writer and director Lynn Shelton got involved.

In Shelton’s new comedy-drama Your Sister’s Sister, starring Emily Blunt (who seems to be in just about every movie this summer), a more down-to-earth romance story is developed. When Jack (Duplass) struggles to cope with the one-year anniversary of his brother’s death, his best friend Iris (Blunt) – who evidently wants to be more than ‘just friends’ – sends him on vacation to her family’s reclusive holiday home. However, he soon discovers that the house is not empty as Iris suspected, since her half-sister Hannah has also retreated there to recover from her most recent relationship break-up.

After bonding over their heartbreak (and downing one-too-many tequila shots), Jack and Hannah end up in bed together. Cue the start of some serious awkwardness when Iris turns up unexpectedly, leaving her distraught at the prospect of a blossoming relationship between her sister and the man she loves.

But it’s just your bog-standard “love triangle” themed movie, right? Wrong. Deservedly winning praise at various international film festivals, Your Sister’s Sister deals with some incredibly intense and heartfelt emotions. The performances feel real and naturalistic under the direction of Lynn Shelton, with the majority of dialogue being improvised by the actors, who were all well informed of their character’s life stories prior to filming. And because they clearly understand the roles they are playing so well, the entire film resonates with spontaneity and genuine affection.

Tender yet charming, Your Sister’s Sister delivers on the comedy promised by the movie’s tagline, but retains an emotional rawness that will leave you wiping away tears of both laughter and sadness. Tissues are advisable!

Laura Davenport

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Screenings of this film:

2012/2013 Autumn Term (digital)