Your Sister's Sister

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Your Sister's Sister
Your Sister's Sister poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLynn Shelton
Produced bySteven Schardt
Written byLynn Shelton
Music byVince Smith
CinematographyBenjamin Kasulke
Edited byNat Sanders
Ada Films
Ealing Pictures
Distributed byIFC Films
Release date
  • September 11, 2011 (2011-09-11) (Toronto)
  • June 15, 2012 (2012-06-15) (US)
Running time
90 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$3.2 million[2][3]

Your Sister's Sister is a 2011 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Lynn Shelton and starring Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Mark Duplass.[4] The film premiered on September 11, 2011, at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was released in the United States on June 15, 2012.[5]


Jack, struggling emotionally a year after the death of his brother, takes up an offer from his friend (and his brother's ex-girlfriend) Iris to stay at her father's isolated island cabin, to contemplate and restore his spirits. Once he arrives there by ferry and then bicycle, Jack unexpectedly encounters Iris's sister Hannah, a lesbian who has recently broken up with her partner and has moved to the cabin without letting her family know. Although she initially attempts to attack him as a trespasser, he explains his relationship to Iris and she allows him to stay.

Later that night, he has trouble sleeping in his small bed and wanders to the kitchen to find Hannah drinking heavily. The pair drink together and converse about their relationships. Jack tells Hannah she is attractive, that her partner is crazy to let her go, and, if she weren't a lesbian, he'd like to be with her. Much to Jack's surprise, Hannah offers to sleep with him - perhaps because she's drunk. With a condom supplied by Hannah, they have very brief sex.

Unexpectedly, Iris arrives at the cabin the next morning. Iris is surprised to find Hannah there, and after they exchange greetings, Jack privately pleads with Hannah to not mention their tryst to Iris. Hannah is bemused by Jack's distress. Later that night, Iris eventually divulges to her sister that she's fallen in love with Jack, and Hannah is then distressed. Iris then checks on Jack, as neither are sleepy, and they talk a while, then spend the night (non-sexually) in the same bed. Early the next morning, Hannah agrees with Jack that she will keep their indiscretion secret.

Later in the day, the trio's conversations lead to the reason behind Hannah's breakup: her desire to have a child. At that, Iris comments that Hannah could simply get a male donor to be pregnant. When Hannah and Iris decide to go for a stroll, Jack tells them he'd rather stay at the cabin "to read." During their stroll, a guilt-ridden Hannah confesses to Iris she slept with Jack, while a suspicious Jack examines the trashed condom, discovering it heavily perforated. Iris runs back to the cabin, with Hannah in pursuit.

Iris confronts Jack about sleeping with her sister, while Jack accuses Hannah of "stealing my sperm". Hannah reluctantly confesses that she deliberately sabotaged the condom in hopes of becoming impregnated, but that she would never have slept with Jack if she had known Iris was in love with him. Jack is stunned at this news, and Iris is stunned that Hannah would reveal the same. Iris storms out, and Hannah says to Jack, "I am a really bad person," and then goes outside.

Later that night, Jack talks to Iris and apologizes. He reveals to Iris that he was only with Hannah because he can't be with her, which breaks Iris's heart because they could have avoided it all if only they had confessed their feelings towards each other sooner. Both Jack and Iris break down crying with Jack departing the cabin, leaving the sisters to sort out these transgressions. Over the next day or so, the sisters gradually reconcile, with Iris offering to help Hannah to raise the child should she give birth; meanwhile, Jack, away camping in a tent, later goes into a nearby town where his bicycle breaks down, leading him to vent his frustrations by destroying it.

Eventually, Jack returns to the cabin and requites Iris's love, also offering to help Hannah to take care of her possible baby. The trio return to the city, and the final scene has Hannah taking a home pregnancy test with Iris and Jack joining her to see the result, which is not revealed.



The film was shot over 12 days[6] in the San Juan Islands of Washington state, "incorporating many sweeping landscape shots that made the woodsy location seem like the fourth member of the ensemble".[7] Rachel Weisz was originally cast to play the character of Hannah, but had to drop out three days before the shoot. Rosemarie DeWitt was cast the day before the shoot began. The actors partly improvised their dialogue.[8]


Your Sister's Sister received positive reviews and has a "certified fresh" score of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 134 reviews with an average rating of 7 out of 10. The critical consensus states "Superbly acted and satisfyingly engaging, Your Sister's Sister subverts rom-com conventions with sensitive direction, an unconventional screenplay, and a big heart."[9] The film also has a score of 72 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 29 critics indicating "Generally favourable reviews."[10]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone described the film as, "a trio of superb performances guide a plot that pivots on secrets and lies before they fester. Your Sister's Sister works its way into your head until you can't stop thinking about it."[11]


A French remake entitled Half Sister, Full Love [fr] (Et Ta Sœur in French speaking markets) premiered in 2015. The film was written and directed by Marion Vernoux and stars Virginie Efira, Grégoire Ludig [fr] and Géraldine Nakache as Marie, Pierrick and Tessa, the respective analogues of Iris, Jack and Hannah. It is the second Lynn Shelton film to be remade in France after Humpday three years earlier.


  1. ^ a b MediaboyMusings (29 June 2012). "Your Sister's Sister (2011)". IMDb.
  2. ^ "Your Sister's Sister (2012) - Box Office Mojo".
  3. ^ "Your Sister's Sister (2012) - International Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo".
  4. ^ A. O. Scott (June 14, 2012). "Solitary Retreat to a Remote Island Leads to Many Mix-Ups". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  5. ^ James White (2012-04-18). Your Sister's Sister Trailer Arrives. Accessed August 1, 2012.
  6. ^ Matt Mueller. "Your Sister's Sister – review". the Guardian.
  7. ^ Rochlin, Margy (May 4, 2012), "Scriptless in Seattle: A Filmmaker's Map—Lynn Shelton, Director of 'Your Sister's Sister'", The New York Times
  8. ^ "Your Sister's Sister director Lynn Shelton on telling unbelievable stories in a credible way".
  9. ^ Your Sister's Sister (2012). Rotten Tomatoes. Accessed 2012-08-01.
  10. ^ "Your Sister's Sister". Metacritic.
  11. ^ Peter Travers June 14, 2012. Your Sister's Sister. Rolling Stone. Accessed August 1, 2012.

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