Directed by: Nikki Braendlin
Written by: Nikki Braendlin
Sisters have a very complex relationship. Of course, I’ve never been a sister, but I’ve known some, and they’re sometimes hard to get a handle on. Issues from the past become issues of the present. They love each other, but sometimes it’s hard.
Maggie and Josephine (Caroline Fogarty and Bonnie McNeil) have just such a relationship. Maggie is a party planner who suffers from pretty major OCD and is going through a breakup. Her aunts (the telephoned voices of Dee Wallace and Jenny O’Hara) think it’s time for her to take the guy’s voice off her answering machine (yeah, she still has one of those), but she’s not quite ready yet.
That’s when Josephine shows up with her 10 year old daughter, Hannah (Laurel Porter), show up on her doorstep. Josephine has always been a free spirit and has led her daughter through a life of travel and fun. The aunts have never liked Josephine and think that Hannah needs stability. Then again, they’re pretty controlling, so “stability” is relative, right?
When the movie started, I was actually pretty annoyed with it. The acting was stiff and the line delivery was stilted. I’m also a little tired of the “stick in the mud OCD” character. Just once I want an OCD character who has some life…they just need to have everything in order. Maggie is so stiff that most sticks think she needs to lighten up.
As the story progressed and the characters got more well defined, I started to realize that this was a pretty realistic vision of sisterhood. These two women, who are 13 years apart, have almost nothing in common. They love each other because they’re sisters, but they barely know each other. Their relationship is strained at best, but it’s not because they hate each other. There’s an underlying reason for the strain that is barely talked about, but it’s there and it’s real.
That really was the best thing about the movie. The portrayal of the relationship between all of these women was pretty realistic. Between sister, mother, daughter and aunt, all of them were great, which is saying something since I never thought that the acting got too much better. (Except from Laurel Porter. She was actually really good.) Writer/director Nikki Braendlin did her best to portray not only the relationships, but the OCD issues with as much compassion as possible. While I wasn’t, as I said, all that into the portrayal of the OCD, she did a great job with the relationships.
Now, if she could only get a better style for her filmmaking. This was a step above Hallmark…but not a very big step above.
One word of advice: Please turn it off before the credits roll. The closing song is fucking awful…complete with “funny” title cards. I know there’s a child singing part of it, but she didn’t write it. Therefore, I feel ok insulting it.
Also, although there is a bit of pot in the movie, this is not, as the title suggests, a pot movie. Sorry, kids.