Lola Versus (Fox Searchlight) and Your Sister’s Sister (IFC) both open today and instead of these two neo-indie films being in competition they actually compliment each other. Both films star the respective It Boy and It Girl of contemporary domestic cinema: Greta Gerwig and Mark Duplass.
In fact Gerwig starred in one of the Duplass Brothers’s early films, Baghead. And both Duplass and Gerwig have appeared in more mainstream efforts with Gerwig playing the romantic lead in Arthur and Duplass working alongside established pros like Kevin Kline and Diane Keaton in Darling Companion and also playing second banana type roles such as in the upcoming People Like Us (June 29).
While Lola and Sister are over the hill and far away from modern Hollywood product both could very easily have been made by a major studio in the 70s when talky films and character driven development were the norm.
Lola Versus follows the downward though not fatal spiral a 30-ish woman goes through after being dumped by her fiancé weeks before their wedding. Gerwig gives a great performance even while going through her complete bag of facial expressions and emotional outbursts. The setting is New York City and to round out the cast oldsters like Debra Winger and Bill Pullman show up. It’s Gerwig’s show to steal and you root for her when she’s depressed and hiss the fiancé, who to put it mildly is lily livered.
Your Sister’s Sister concentrates more on conversation and intimate bonds between two sisters (Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt) and their BFF Duplass, who turns up at their country cabin expecting to meet up with Blunt later in the week. Instead DeWitt, who’s just broken up with her girlfriend, has taken over the woodsy abode. Some great conversation breaks out as well as a whisky bottle. Events, get out of hand or perhaps they follow what you think would happen. Logic bends both ways in this narrative.
The entire film balances on whether each of the sisters will find out the other’s true motives. Your Sister’s Sister unwinds confidently under the helm of Lynn Shelton who also made Humpday starring Duplass.
— Michael Bergeron