Your Sister’s Sister

mumblecore (noun) An American independent film movement of the early twenty-first century, characterized by low-budget production, focus on personal relationships between twentysomethings, improvised scripts, and non-professional actors. – Reprinted from

Given that strict definition, it would appear that Your Sister’s Sister could NOT be classified as mumblecore as both Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt are actresses of some renown. This is in fact Blunt’s third appearance of 2012 following Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and The Five-Year Engagement.  We‘re only halfway through the year!  And yet, if we disregard that condition this is very much a production within that genre as the movement continues its gradual shift toward the mainstream.

After an awkward outburst at a party, Jack’s best friend, Iris offers her vacant cabin to him so he can come to terms with the death of his brother. But when he arrives, the house isn’t empty at all as he encounters Iris’s sister Hannah. This development leads to an entanglement that will ultimately have critical consequences for all three of them.

Fiercely low budgeted movie about interpersonal relationships resembles any impromptu discussion that you might have with your friends. Meandering and inconsequential, the drama is nothing if not realistic. The conversations are also quite articulate. It’s a drama that is easier to admire than to enjoy. The interactions feel like a series of film school exercises where participants are entrusted to find their character. The dialogue is natural and seemingly ad-libbed. Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt are accomplished actors so that’s not a bad thing necessarily. It’s candid and sincere. Nevertheless the story will demand some patience of the viewer as one follows this anecdote to its (indeterminate) conclusion. There’s a peaceful walk in the woods near the end that‘s meant to show a therapeutic affirmation of everything that has happened before. I didn‘t really buy that. The events were just too complicated to easily accept. However, if that third act doesn’t live up to the first two, the honest naturalism of the narrative is absorbing. It’s the movie’s biggest asset. This is what a romantic comedy looks like in 2012. Sometimes to move forward, we must scale back.

5 Responses to “Your Sister’s Sister”

  1. I was expecting a higher rating from you given what other things I’ve heard about this. I myself have put this on my list after a few others. It was nice to take into account a different take on this than I heard. Most people I know loved it, but you still did like it. I can’t wait till I’m not so busy though so I can bring reviews out faster. You know this already, but excellent review!


    • It feels like a quirky sitcom you‘d watch on TV, not a film for the big screen. It would make a nice rental, but not worth the $11 it costs to see it in a theater.


  2. Great review, Mark!


  3. moviewriting Says:

    Like Alec I expected a higher rating to be honest, Mark. I have a huge girl crush on Emily Blunt, which was only fuelled further after listening to Empire magazine’s podcast (she was adorable on it!). Thanks for the heads up though, I don’t think I’ll venture to the indie cinema to check this out and just wait for it to come on Netflix.


    • You might enjoy this more than I, so perhaps it would be worth your time seeing it in a cinema. It did get very positive reviews, if not box office success.


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