Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Your Sister's Sister

Your Sister's Sister (U.S., 2011) directed by Lynn Shelton, 90 minutes
September 13, 2011, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, 12:15pm

Breakfast at The Senator with my good friend D to catch up before the film ... this is one of my favourite places to go downtown in between films. Slowly the festival venues have drifted southward. I have been going to TIFF long enough that I remember films at The New Yorker on 651Yonge St. and The University Theatre on Bloor. Now both defunct - the first was converted to the Panasonic Theatre and is owned by the Mirvishes and the other is an enormous Pottery Barn.

There was the Uptown Theatre at Bloor & Yonge - demolished in 2003. The Imperial Six (now the Canon Theater, formerly the Pantages Theatre, which still does theatrical revues) has also been transformed. I worked at both The University Theatre and The Imperial Six as a candy girl in university and let me tell you there is a novel in there somewhere ...

The Varsity is still operational but not showing films this year oddly and The Cumberland is still functioning but sadly it is not a particularly pleasant venue - it's grungy and dated feeling, like sitting in your uncle's basement waiting for the hockey game to come on ... one by one the grand old cinemas have fallen by the wayside.

The cinema action has drifted southward to The Elgin and Winter Garden (Yonge & King), Scotiabank (John St. south of Queen), the newly minted TIFF Lightbox (John St. & King St.). I miss trudging along Yorkville or Yonge St. Well boo hoo hoo A Lit Chick, you say, it's time to move on ... time waits for no one. What great man said that - T.S. Eliot or Mick Jagger or somesuch?

I am blogging in Dundas Square where there is free Wifi waiting for my 12.15pm film at the TIFF Lightbox ... snickering about the Material Girl's latest faux pas (dissing an offering of flowers from a fan in Venice and reportedly dictating that TIFF volunteers not look her in the eye before the press conference). Her power being so all encompassing that a clumsy pigeon almost flew into the back of my head during flight to avenge this outrage ...

Off to see Your Sister's Sister at TIFF Lightbox ...

As the film opens Jack (Mark Duplass) makes a scene at a memorial party for his brother who has recently passed away. His friend, Iris (Emily Blunt), who also dated Jack's brother, has a plan: she suggests a sojourn at her father’s cabin on Puget Sound, WA. When Jack arrives her finds Iris’ half-sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) in the cabin who is recovering from her own heartbreak over a girlfriend that she has just left. They get drunk on tequila and Jack somewhat sweetly propositions her and she accepts.

The next day Iris appears, unannounced, with a bag of groceries and with the conviction that she is in love with Jack. Problems ensue, a number of them not the least of which is Jack accusing Hannah of "stealing" his sperm.

The script is witty and cleverly constructed. DeWitt and Blunt are utterly convincing as sisters and the hapless Jack (Duplass) - unemployed, depressed, sometimes socially awkward - is still believable as someone who could capture Blunt's heart.

A very minor, minor, shallow observation: Blunt's beauty looks so out of place here even with her in casual clothes and minimal makeup. It's so odd, the rest of the cast look like (and likely are) the director's friends at the opening party scene and Blunt stands out like a flower in a field of weeds.

Lynn Shelton the director was around to introduce the film and do a Q&A but I had to run to make sure I caught my next film at The Elgin. I didn't dislike the film ... but I wasn't overly excited by the film either. I want to use the word proficient - that sounds unkind but I don't mean it to be.

No star sightings today - just an old work nemesis (KE) spotted at the Lightbox, absorbed by her blackberry, plodding along, head down, oblivious as usual.

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