Director: lynn shelton

90 minutes, U.S.A., 2011, Colour, D-Cinema

Building on the smartly observed comedy of embarrassment in her previous film Humpday, writer-director Lynn Shelton returns with this even more assured three-hander, combining improv-derived character insight with the escalating complications of the best romantic comedies.

Jack (filmmaker and sometime actor Mark Duplass) is in a funk after his brother’s death, so his good friend Iris (Emily Blunt) packs him off to her family’s lakeside hideaway to get his head together. Unbeknownst to either, Iris’s sibling Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) is taking a break there herself, knocked sideways after splitting with her long-term girlfriend. Without giving too much away, it’s fair to say that it gets messier from there but like Mike Leigh at his best, it always feels that events are being shaped by these emotionally shambling individuals – even though the film has definite things to say about never being too scared to listen to our hearts. As funny and real as it gets, and the cast absolutely nails it. See this. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

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