Your Sister’s Sister

Jack, Iris and Hannah are three lonely people spending the weekend in a remote cabin in the woods. But you wouldn’t know how lonely they are because now that they have each other, they really can’t bring themselves to shut up.

“Your Sister’s Sister” is a cozy romantic triangle drama between Jack (Mark Duplass), his best friend Iris (Emily Blunt) and her sister Hannah (Rosemarie Dewitt). Jack has been in a funk for the past year since the death of his brother, who was also once Iris’s boyfriend. She sends Jack to spend time alone in the wilderness, only for him to bump into Hannah. Hannah just broke up with her girlfriend, and with enough tequila shots, flirty compliments, and adventurous encouragements, she’s willing to forget she’s a lesbian for an evening and spend the night with Jack.

Surprise! The next morning, Iris shows up, and while Jack and Hannah try to cover up their dirty deeds, Iris confesses to her sister that she may be in love with Jack.

These are all steamy, awkward conversation topics, but they approach them with nonchalant ease. Jack makes blunt comments about Hannah’s sexy butt, Hannah rudely brings up an embarrassing story about Iris’s bush, and Iris and Jack take turns sarcastically judging each others’ choices in relationships. It’s as if they gloss over serious conversation that might get real or uncomfortable by keeping up the chatter.

It’s so bogged down under their words that the movie forgets that Jack has serious psychological problems in his life and that Hannah may actually be an unstable person. Occasionally the movie name drops Fleet Foxes or “Hotel Rwanda,” but it mostly steers clear of any conversation topic that isn’t relevant to sex.

“Your Sister’s Sister” then is an actor’s movie. It certainly isn’t a visual one, because a majority of the film is seen in extreme close ups during these back and forth conversations. It annoyingly gets us right up into their faces and problems.

But some of it works because the three are all wonderfully convincing as friends and sisters. Iris and Hannah have a mutual understanding of one another that only comes through years of sisterhood, and the quiet moment they share looking at each other under the covers in bed is the movie’s finest.

The big argument near the end gets close to psychotic, and for all the talking that came before, “Your Sister’s Sister” suddenly runs out of important things to say just when things get tense.

2 1/2 stars


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