The Indie film movement may have some high points (your call) but it also commits innumerable disasters such as Your Sister’s Sister and Peace, Love and Misunderstanding. Each plot is undistinguished but Your Sister’s Sister’s plot is so poor it exposes how the Indie movement’s grave lack of imagination unfortunately replaces Hollywood’s formerly sure-fire storytelling. The creative decline is matched by YS(2)’s unforgivable–and inescapable–technical incompetence.
Writer-director Lynn Shelton (of the insufferable Humpday) concocts a mumblecorish story about depressed guy Jack (Mark Duplass) who sexes Hannah (Rosemarie Dewitt), the lesbian sister of his friend Iris (Emily Blunt)–whom Jack secretly loves. This is a Jerry Springer Show topic more than it is a plot, as was two-straight-guys-experimenting-with-gay-sex in Humpday. The Duplass gang humps again. All Shelton’s films should be titled “Humpday,” a new Indie-Idiot franchise.
Only Indie-snob arrogance can explain this premise being filmed or taken seriously. After much dull anguish among the yuppie triangle, Jack whines “I only slept with her because I couldn’t sleep with you!” Obviously years of romantic melodrama, sex farce and screwball comedy have passed over Lynn Shelton’s head. She represents a generation of proud, self-deluded Indie filmmakers who think they’re transcending Hollywood by avoiding its formulas.
But the Indie-mumblecore movement’s homegrown, navel-gazing narcissism is merely a new formula–only without entertaining slickness. We get plain faces babbling, drinking, walking, biking, presumably improvising–yet never arriving at originality. The mundane is overrated. (DeWitt’s intense, intelligent presence only recalls how better she was as resentful sister 2 in Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married–the masterpiece that Indies refuse to learn from.)
To read the full review at City Arts click here.
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