I started out my night at the 6 pm screening of Your Sister's Sister directed by the utterly charming and sensationally talented Lynn Shelton (Humpday). As a tall, blond beauty, she looks like she could be a star in her own right, but was drowned out by screaming paparazzi once Emily Blunt arrived in a sparkling red dress that matched the red carpet perfectly.
I had heard good things about the film from its previous screenings at Sundance, but my expectations were met and then some. Your Sister's Sister is effortlessly refreshing and enjoyable throughout. It is extremely funny and a real feat of collaborative acting and filmmaking. It is clear in every scene that these actors have the utmost trust in their director and are willing to be raw, fun and loose with the material. It is a consistently tight story for mostly improvised material and has a little bit of everything from broad comedy to real moments to romantic plot lines. The film maintains its mainstream appeal all throughout the film.
Mark Duplass has really hit his stride here and, in my opinion, gives his best comedic performance to date. He is matched with a great performance by Rosemarie Dewitt and there is even a cameo by the always charming Mike Birbiglia. It is not a perfect film, but when it faltered it picked itself up again within minutes with grace and confidence. I also have to give major props to the cinematographer, Ben Kasulke, who shot it in only 12 days. Emily Blunt called it "the most personal film I've ever done."
I was on such a lady director high from seeing Your Sister's Sister that I decided to skip the after party and go straight to the world premiere of Lauren Greenfield's new documentary Beauty Culture. Greenfield touches on a subject that is so compelling and relevant to our times that we are left wishing that the film were an hour longer. This short documentary is an examination of how photographic representation effects our obsession with beauty and it is fun, twistedly entertaining and highly ambitious. But of course I knew to expect great work from Lauren Greenfield after seeing her exceptional documentary Queen of Versailles at Sundance this year, which will hit theaters later this summer.
I would highly recommend seeing both of these films.