The set-up sounds like a bad farce: Guy sleeps with his female best friend's sister - who also happens to be a lesbian. Complications ensue, as the best friends battle their unexpressed romantic feelings for each other. Shouldn't this be starring Kate Hudson? But, no, this little indie from writer/director Lynn Shelton is one of the most pleasantly surprising movies of the year. It doesn't traffic in rom-com treacle. The dialogue sounds like real conversations (and, certainly, a good deal of it must have been improvised). The acting finds nuance and humanity in each moment. Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt give warm, true performances. No character is the villain, and no character is without faults. And while some might find the ending frustrating, I thought it was just right.
- KRISTINA DORSEY