For all of your housewives out there who got really sad watching the little cancer girl suffer in "My Sister's Keeper" because she wasn't getting the genetic medical help she needed from her sister, fear not, for there is another (Dun-dun-dun!). No, folks, I'm kidding, this film isn't the highly-anticipated (by housewives) sequel to "My Sister's Keeper", as reflected by this film's being handled with much less simplicity than the dramatic aspects of "My Sister's Keeper" (Would anyone care to guess whether or not I've actually seen "My Sister's Keeper", or are you too busy trying to remember the film in question?), or at least when it comes to the structure of the family in this film, which is almost as convoluted as "Inception". Of course, I might be getting confused with the family unit upon which this film focuses because I'm wondering what happened in the sisters' gene pool to give Emily Blunt's Iris character an English accent and give Rosemarie DeWitt's Hannah character an accent that is so American it may as well be southern (They explain it in the film, but not in the ads). Yeah, I don't know what's up with that, but hey, I guess this film makes up for its not making everything fit by having Mark Duplass play some dude who is pursuing Emily Blunt after a relationship she has with a major associate - in this case, brother - of Duplass' effectively ends (It's funny how death will do that), because right after "The Five-Year Engagement" breaks, Blunt gets targeted by Jason Segel's good buddy, the other Marky Mark. Well, in all fairness, it's not like Duplass and Blunt stood a chance of getting out of this year without finding themselves in a film in which they're romantically connected, seeing as how they're both in pretty much every film of 2012. Don't get too worried about competition, Michael Fassbender and Jessica Chastain, they're mostly in small indie films that no one will see, with Duplass cutting out the "mostly" part and only doing small indie films. Hey, Blunt has had and if successfully fulfilling her chance to break out, so I say we give Duplass more attention, because the boy sure is talented, and deserves a better film to help carry, because although this project is pretty decent, the character relationship tree is about the only thing about this film that isn't a bit too simple for its own good.
The film entertains more than your usual minimalist mumblecore opus of this type, but still, the fact of the matter is that these films aren't exactly known for being loads of good old-fahioned fun, and sure enough, with all of its charm and entertainment value, this film still finds time to slow down and slip into some considerable slow spells, which momentarily disengage and would be easier to forgive if it wasn't for the fact that this film of barely an hour-and-a-half is, believe it or not, quite overdrawn, largely because its character don't know when to shut up. No, but seriously though, as enjoyable as this film's dialogue is, plotting goes retarded a bit by the dialogue pieces around which this film's story structure is built's being overlong, padding out one scene after another, and making the awkwardness you'd expect from padding caused soley by overdrawn dialogue all the worse with the usual awkwardness spawned from dialogue's mumblecore natrualism's getting to be too personal to people you're observing objectively. Of course, with that said, with all of these characters' rambling on and on about their lives, you still don't find as firm a grip on everyone as much as you probably should, as expository dialogue gets lost in the midst of simple filler dialogue, being most definately present, but paper-thin. What you end up with is an overlong and underdeveloped dialogue film that presents people who may be charming, but are just too blasted normal and unfamiliar to be all that exciting, and a story that doesn't simply outstay its welcome, but firmly reminds you time and again of its not being all that meaty to begin with. As with so many mumblecore films, this project boasts a story that is so thin that it makes Christina Ricci look like Melissa McCarthy, having no real consequence to conflict, scarce depth to flesh-out, limited eventfulnes to story structure and quite a bit of blandness to atmosphere. Hardly anything goes on in this plot, and when things do happen, whether it be because things are so underdeveloped, or because things were never to be too consequential, it's hard to care all that much, thus the naturally flawed film is rendered underwhelming to a point beyond repair, while entertainment value is left to make or break the final product as likable. Well, sure enough, with all of this film's intentional shortcomings, there is enough entertainment vaue to get you by, and much of it, believe it or not, rests within an aspect that often helps in blanding up the film: dialogue.
Its storytelling about as thin as its actual story concept, this film is driven all but entirely, not by action, but by dialogue, and as I said, such a storytelling method gets to be problematic, - whether it be because of its being a thin method, or simply because of it's being too awkwardly natrualist - especially it goes too far, dragging out dialogue and, by extension, the film itself into a rather blandly overlong talkie that, in order to sustain your attention, must deliver on some charming words, and sure enough, both Lynn Shelton's scripted dialogue and the performers' improvisational skills deliver on plenty of snap to the dialogue that charms in a reasonably entertaining fashion, when not being genuinely kind of funny. As a storytelling component, this film's excessive dialogue, both filler and barely adequately expository, doesn't really work, but as an entertainment component, the snap to the film's near-endless ramblings really does get you by, and recieves some help from certain other strengths in Shelton's script. Okay, strengths are very limited in Shelton's screenplay, though that's primarily because there really is only to much to Shelton's script, but when Shelton does get something right, at least as writer, she replenishes your investment, with one of her greatest strengths being the ability to avoid rom-com tropes. Sure, this film owes much of its unconventionalism in plotting to its having only so much plotting at all, but the fact of the matter is that this film is, to a certain degree, refreshing, and from its audacious unconventionalism and minimalism comes a kind of genuineness that is hard to deny, and goes intensified by what flesh-out there is to Shelton's script. Next to the dialogue, characterization is the greatest strength in this film's script, because as thin as this film's exposition is, Shelton succeeds in crafting situations and characters that are reasonably relatable, even with a few abnormal bits, but distinguished enough to be, not necessarily all that compelling, but certainly charming. There's not too much to our characters for you to gravitate toward them all that considerably, but the humanity that drives this film proves to be genuine enough to sustain some degree of your investment, and for that, it mostly has to thank, not Shelton's characterization, but this film's three leads, Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt, all of whom charm distinctively by their own individual rights, and share sparkling chemistry that sell you on the human depths of this film's character, especially when backed up by a bit of emotional depth by everyone toward the film's end. Our performers bond with their roles and carry this film that definately needs someone to carry it, seeing as how it's just too thin to survive without the help of the snappy charm, color and all around entertainment value that this film delivers on enough to keep you going, even if you won't exactly find yourself walking away with all that much worth remembering.
Bottom line, slow spells go exacerbated by an exceedingly overdrawn and, to a certain degree, a bit too awkwardly naturalist form of dialogue storytelling that, alongside a considerable lack of development, emphasize this film's story's being too startlingly paper-thin to be anything more than underwhelming, which isn't to say that dialogue doesn't help in making this film as enjoyable as it is, keeping you going with undeniable snap and genuineness, augmented by the script's unconventionalism and colorful characterization, and truly sparked to life by a triad of charismatic performances by leads Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt, whose charming believability and sparkling chemistry do about as much as anything in making "Your Sister's Sister" an adequately entertaining mumblecore opus that charms thoroughly, even if it isn't exactly all that genuinely compelling.
2.5/5 - Fair