Your Sister's Sister

Your Sister's Sister (2012)

It’s been a while since I’ve written about a film on Musings. I’m not sure why that is – perhaps because it’s been a while since I’ve seen a film I wanted to write something about. Spending the weekend in Sheffield (closest accommodation we could find to The Stone Roses, Heaton Park at the last minute) left a couple of days to wander around and see the sights, part of which involved a visit to The Showroom Cinema.

I recently saw another Emily Blunt film – The Five-Year Engagement – so was expecting a romantic comedy along similar lines, but was instead presented with Your Sister’s Sister, an intelligent, warm and often playful observation on relationships, in this instance between two sisters, Iris and Hannah, and Iris’ best friend Jack.

Without giving too much away – so much of the film’s charm lies in its amusing portrayal of unanticipated situations – Iris offers up her family’s remote cabin to her best friend Jack so that he can spend some time alone following the one year anniversary of his brother’s, her ex-boyfriend’s, passing. On arriving, Jack meets Hannah for the first time and drunken encounter between them before Iris’ surprise arrival the following day leads to a series of conversations and events that reveal nuances of character and feeling, many of which were either unknown, ignored or avoided by each up until that point.

In a style similar to so many of Woody Allen’s films (at least those I’ve seen so far!), watching Your Sister’s Sister, I felt as though I was witnessing the events unfold as the characters themselves were experiencing them, that thoughts and opinions were being formed by each as the film progressed and that I was observing and listening to real and private conversations.

The film sensitively portrayed the comic undercurrents in what are often essentially sombre occasions – only possible because of the closeness and familiarity between the characters themselves.

Written and directed by Lynn Shelton and starring Mark DuplassEmily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt – in case it hasn’t come across, the film gets a “highly recommended” from me.

Normally when I write about a film, as opposed to the music in the film, I post a track that I myself associated with it, perhaps one that was brought to mind by the story or by a certain scene or character rather than one from the soundtrack. This time, however, it’s the song that played as the end-credits were rolling:

Breathe Owl Breathe – Playing Dead [amzn]

The closing track on the Ghost Glacier (2009) album from Michigan indie folk band Breathe Owl Breathe, the lyrics sing “I got you, didn’t I?” which adopts an equally nuanced meaning  having seen the film. I’ll let you watch and decide for yourselves…