Synopsis: Iris invites her friend Jack to stay at her family’s island getaway after the death of his brother. At their remote cabin, Jack’s drunken encounter with Hannah, Iris’ sister, kicks off a revealing stretch of days.
Set almost exclusively within the confines of an idyllic Puget Sound island, specifically the summer home of Iris’s (Blunt) and Hannah’s (DeWitt) father, Your Sister’s Sister could easily have been transferred from the stage.
There is very little interaction with anyone other than the three leads and the dialogue lends itself as much to the theater as it does the screen. The story is simple, and to a large degree fairly unoriginal, as Jack (Duplass) is sent to the house by his best friend Iris to clear his head following the death of his brother. However when he arrives he finds he is not alone as expected. Iris’s sister Hannah, coming out of a 7 year relationship, has had similar ideas of solitude and self reflection. After an awkward first encounter Jack and Hannah get on a little too well. When Iris makes an unexpected appearance at the cabin everything begins to unravel as the trio begin to drink and talk.
Yes, this is a romantic comedy at heart. But unlike so many others it actually contains two key elements; comedy and romance. Any lack of originality is made up for by the ease with which the three leads interact, in particular DeWitt who is enigmatic to the core. Duplass also continues to show that he is not just a quick witted improviser, but someone who understands the dynamics of indie cinema. At the heart though is a script from Lynne Shelton that never feels cliched or forced in the way it delivers it’s sentiment. You get the sense that she trusted her leading trio to take the bones of her story and flesh them out as they went. The result is a refreshingly relaxed look at unrequited love that had me laughing out loud and holding back tears in equal measure.
Conclusion: A wonderfully crafted melancholic comedy about smart people making bad choices. This is how you make a romantic comedy.
Cast: Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass, Rosemarie DeWitt