Published Sep 23, 2011Lynn Shelton (director of the unexpectedly popular Humpday) returns with another charming tail of flailing early adulthood.
The film begins at what seems like a college reunion, but is soon revealed to be a commemoration of sorts for a classmate, Tom, who died the year before. The commiseration begins with Tom's former roommate giving an encouraging glimpse into their life in college. The stage is soon taken over by Tom's brother, Jack (Mark Duplass), a depressed, yet darkly comedic, character. Jack turns the tables and eulogizes his brother in a cynical way. The sarcasm doesn't fly with the crowd, and best friend Iris (Emily Blunt) decides to intervene.
Iris, Tom's former girlfriend, sends Jack on a solo retreat to her parents' lake house, somewhere outside of Seattle, so that he can attempt to overcome his depression and think about his life. Jack reluctantly agrees and heads out to the ferry on his bicycle. As Jack arrives at the house, a half-dressed woman prancing about the kitchen surprises him. Jack unintentionally turns into a peeping Tom and knocks something against the house, after which the woman comes out in a rage of terror ready to kill whoever or whatever is lurking outside. The woman turns out to be Iris's half sister, Hannah (Rosemarie Dewitt), a 30something lesbian who has just ended a seven-year relationship and is seeking solitude herself.
In a predictable comedy of errors, the unlikely duo end up sleeping together after a night of tequila shots and confessions. The film turns into Hannah and her Sister, a Woody Allen-esque situational comedy, when Iris shows up at the house the next morning and Jack is fumbling around the bedroom trying to hide the evidence of their tryst. Iris confesses to Hannah that she is in love with Jack and all hell breaks loose.
The film is relatable to the post-grad crowd with a penchant for witty dialogue and dry humour. Blunt, Duplass and Dewitt have natural chemistry that gives another meaning to "three is a crowd." The actors play off each other well and the laughs are endless. Of course, drama is also present, but the film takes an optimistic turn and we are left with a unique offbeat comedy in the vein of Mumblecore, but more developed.
This is an indie-comedy worth checking out. (UTA/Submarine)