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Northwest Filmmakers' Festival: Your Sister's Sister

By AARON MESH

[ONE NIGHT ONLY] Seattle director Lynn Shelton's two most recent films are uncomfortable silences that, viewed in tandem, feel like improv sketches at the Pacific Northwest's most po-faced comedy club. Humpday featured two straight men who dare each other to boink on camera. Go! Your Sister's Sister regards a bereaved bloke (Mark Duplass) ferried to the Puget Sound cabin of his longtime best friend (Emily Blunt), where he immediately and drunkenly tumbles into bed with her lesbian big sister (Rosemarie DeWitt). Go! Both movies take these contrivances—the mumblecore equivalents of high concept—and work out the results as naturalistically as possible, even making the heroes' penchant for uniquely bad ideas into an ongoing subtext. (It helps that Shelton keeps turning to Duplass: a doughy Colossus of wrongheaded good intentions.) If Your Sister's Sister feels good in the moment but doesn't hold up under scrutiny, that's probably because DeWitt's character, Hannah, is so indelible (and intelligently performed) that she throws the love triangle out of balance, like a penny-farthing tricycle. A porcupine with a ticking biological clock, bestowing baggies of dried bananas as peace offerings, Hannah is that rare pious lefty not treated as an object of sport—she's the woman the moms in The Kids Are Alright wanted to be. By comparison, the other two thwarted lovebirds seem like a stock romcom couple in slow motion. But DeWitt's in enough scenes, so you don't notice.

 

Special Note

NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 8:30 pm Friday, Nov. 16. See nwfilm.org for a complete schedule of the Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival
 
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  • Release Date: Monday, June 18, 2012
  • Critic's Score: B
  • Watch the trailer
 

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