DVD Review – Sisters and Brothers


Suffice is to say I was not looking forward to this film, which is why I left it till the last for the month. Why is this? – well my sister snagged it a while ago and brought it back about a half an hour later saying “good luck, it’s really boring”. This from a person who enjoyed ‘27 Dresses’… ominous I tell you. Anyway, I graciously shed that warning, willing to give it the benefit of the considerable doubt.

Sisters and Brothers
Director: Carl Bessai
Cast: Cory Monteith, Dustin Milligan and Amanda Crew
Running time:  90
Age restriction: 16 L
Genre: comedy

By the way, Sisters and Brothers has no affiliation whatsoever with the TV series Bother’s and Sisters – just so you know…

Basically it targets a set period in time for a few people, and their siblings, in and around LA (although it is a Canadian film). Two of them are actors – one super successful dealing with moral issues of being lonely and living a cliché, while the other is a struggling actress looking for a big break – and another character we follow is a high school girl dealing with the discovery that she has a sister from India, while I forget why they followed the other woman (with a mentally ill brother) – to my knowledge she had little bearing on the “plot”. Actually there was no plot really, because it was filmed in a pseudo-documentary style (a follow-them-around type of idea, even with mini character interviews). None of the characters I just mentioned have any relation to each other, nor do they encounter each other in the film, not even a veritable crossing-of-paths.

Overall though it’s a very safe film that needed a director who could draw a few darker strokes into the story arcs and maybe some daring grittier writers to contrast the heavy stuff with some good quality humour. Oh yes, I forgot to mention; this is actually supposed to be “a comedy about getting to know someone you thought you knew your whole life”. So it’s a fat negative on that score – I don’t remember smiling once – I suppose it was their attempt to steer clear of the drama genre.

The Target

It’s hard to say; I’m going to guess Canadians… and the twitter followers of the respective actors.

The Bottom line

Okay so it may be a bit on the boring side, but there were a few good points, I just can’t remember them. What I do remember now, is that they tried to infuse some comic book style story panels to segue into scenes, even including speech bubbles. Just before the sex scene – to give you an example – the screen freezes and pans out and then switches to an animated script with bright scribbled letters reading “CUT”.

Ultimately it will fall into the bin of obscurity; there was talent on offer amongst the vaguely familiar faces, just not enough to be noticed… Imagine it as the toothless cross between Juno and an episode of Life (TV series), and maybe Traffic (without the drugs and guns).


Two stars


About Steven Benjamin:

A Capetonian – the only son, amongst four siblings, of a demure working mother and a missionary (once upon a time) for a father. Humble and God fearing, I’m a writer looking to add a different perspective whilst also telling stories on the side. I’ve lugubriously turned to writing after failing in a mental attempt to become a Formula 1 driver. I’m currently also working on my spicy debut novel, The Quiet Days!

Steven’s personal blog