By Dennis Hartley
(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on May 19, 2012)
This “love triangle” dramedy from Humpday writer-director Lynn Shelton was SIFF’s 2012 Opening Night pick. In my experience, the film selections for the annual kickoff soiree are not always (how should I put this delicately)…well-advised, so I usually approach with trepidation. This year, however, I think they made a really good call. It was not only filmed in and around Seattle, by a Seattle filmmaker, but (most importantly) it’s vastly entertaining (locally produced and/or filmed doesn’t necessarily equate “perfect choice”, as 2008’s anemic Festival opener, Battle in Seattle demonstrated).
The film (reminiscent of Chasing Amy) is a talky but thoroughly engaging look at the complexities of modern relationships, centering on a slacker man-child (Mark Duplass) his deceased brother’s girlfriend (Emily Blunt) and her sister (Rosemarie Dewitt), who bumble into an unplanned “encounter weekend” together at a remote family cabin. Funny, insightful and well-directed, it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen so far this year.