DVD+Digital: Drunken sex, tricky endings and Your Sister's Sister | Arts
INDY Week's arts blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

DVD+Digital: Drunken sex, tricky endings and Your Sister's Sister

Posted by on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Endings are hard. Plenty of writers will tell you they're the hardest part of any story, and any movie lover can rattle off a dozen films with lousy endings, from memory.

So when a movie ends just right, it should be savored. The romantic comedy-drama Your Sister's Sister — new to DVD, Blu-ray and digital this week — concludes with two scenes so perfect that I scanned back and watched them again, just to admire it all. I was investedin this thing, and if the story hadn't ended properly, I would have had actual trouble sleeping.

It's the nicest thing I can think to say of the many nice things I'm about to say in regard to this funny, lovely film. Your Sister's Sister didn't get the theatrical release it deserved — it never did open in the Triangle — but hopefully it will find its audience on home video.

The story: Iris and Jack (Emily Blunt and Mark Duplass) are platonic best friends, each still in mourning a year after the death of Jack's brother, who was also Iris' ex-boyfriend.

Jack in particular is a mess, and after he unravels at a memorial service, Iris sends him off to her dad's vacation cottage to get his head together. When Jack arrives, however, he's surprised to find the cabin is already occupied by Iris' sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt). Hannah is also spiraling, having just broken off a seven-year relationship with her girlfriend.

Jack and Hannah bond over a bottle of tequila and wind up in bed together, despite Hannah's orientation and Jack's plumbing. (“I haven't ridden this bike in a while,” Hannah says.) These things happen when you trifle with the demon rum. But when Iris unexpectedly shows up the next morning, it's weirdsies for everyone involved.

A kind of fast-forward, slightly tweaked love triangle story plays out from here. Secrets are kept, then revealed. Scenes build to explore the complex relationships between the three — especially the sisters, who grew up spending their summers together in that cabin. Dialogue is crisp and funny, and the mix of comedy and drama feels entirely authentic.

Writer-director Lynn Shelton (Humpday) has such a sure hand. There's no wasted movement in the script, and when the stakes are suddenly raised, it's funny and heartbreaking at the same time. Emily Blunt is usually the most interesting element of any movie she's in, but here she's got equally committed colleagues in DeWitt and Duplass. Extras on the Blu-ray and DVD include two commentary tracks — one with director Shelton and the crew, another with Shelton and Duplass. The commentaries suggest extensive collaboration and improvisation on-set.

When director and performers lock in like this, a lot of good things can happen in 90 minutes. It's a little startling, really, how quickly and fully you come to care about these three. The movie could have ended a hundred different ways, and I was worried about 99 of them. But this is such a carefully calibrated story that I guess it's no surprise it sticks the landing. Highly recommended.

Also New This Week:

Director Billy Wilder's masterpiece Sunset Boulevard has finally been issued to Blu-ray in a beautifully restored HD edition with more than two hours of insider-Hollywood extras. In addition to photo galleries and a commentary track by Wilder biographer Ed Sikov, the disc has 14 separate featurettes covering various aspects of the production and historical context. Could be a nice gift idea for that movie geek on your list.

Rashomon, director Akira Kurosawa's multivalent crime drama, has also been reissued to Blu-ray by the Criterion Collection, with the usual suite of extras.

Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) takes over crimefighting duties from Toby Maquire in this summer's blockbuster reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man.

Not coincidentally, the fanboy doc With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story also hits DVD this week, with details on the life and times of the Spider-Man creator and comic book godfather. Sam Jackson, Patrick Stewart and Kevin Smith provide celebrity testimonials.

Last year's holiday kids movie from Britain's Aardman Animations, Arthur Christmas, rotates back into play on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D.

Plus: Paranormal horror with The Pact, holiday nostalgia with The Muppet Christmas Carol 20th Anniversary Edition, and Hollywood hijinks with HBO's Entourage: The Complete Series.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Arts

Twitter Activity


Great movie! I finally watched it online in HD. I figured some of you guys would want to watch it …

by Vhia setiawan on Movie Review: Believe the Hype About Black Panther, an All-Time Great Superhero Saga (Arts)

Most Recent Comments

Great movie! I finally watched it online in HD. I figured some of you guys would want to watch it …

by Vhia setiawan on Movie Review: Believe the Hype About Black Panther, an All-Time Great Superhero Saga (Arts)

Les miserable is listed starting earlier and still running. Not hating just saying. …

by GordonBombayIII on Love never dies, but many terrible musicals have: Sitting through Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom sequel. (Arts)

want to go to all! where and when?????

by Amanda Kyser on Sick of Facebook Invites? UNC-Chapel Hill Just Launched an App for Tracking Events on Campus. (Arts)

Not to be picky, but Harding was the first *American* female skater to land a triple axel in competition.

by xtinaxtina on Movie Review: I, Tonya Cribs Scorsese's Tricks for a Uniquely American Tale of Crass Competition and Class Conflict (Arts)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation