Inside Out 2024 Review | Sisters

by Andrew Parker

A frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious examination of the relationships that define what we think of as “family,” Sisters is a refreshing and engaging comedy that establishes all of the people behind and in front of the camera as major talents worth keeping an eye on.

Singer-songwriter Lou (writer/director Susie Yankou) and stand-up comedian Esther (Sarah Khasrovi) are so close as friends that they often ask strangers if they think the two of them are sisters or if they’re dating. They have inside jokes galore, messed up family dynamics they can bond over, and neither is ever far from the other. When Lou’s father suddenly passes away, she learns at the funeral that she has a secret half-sister she never knew about. Although they come from different social circles and had vastly different experiences with their father, half-sister Priya (Kausar Mohammed) immediately endears herself to Lou. This tickles the part of Lou’s brain that has always wondered what it would be like to have a biological sibling, but the more time she spends with this new person in her life, the less time is spent hanging out with Esther, the close friend that has always been by her side no matter what.

Yankou’s material is witty and well rounded, giving everyone in the cast ample opportunity to shine. As a director and performer, Yankou proves to be a master of comedic and dramatic timing in just her first feature, expertly landing zingers and milking awkward pauses to perfection. The chemistry between Yankou, the delightful Khasrovi, and the radiant Mohammed is some of the best on screen this year, constantly making the viewer believe they’re watching a big budget comedy firing on all cylinders instead of a shoestring indie. And when it comes time for things to get serious in Sisters, Yankou and her cast show real pain and bittersweet realizations without resorting to maudlin shortcuts.

As a comedy, Sisters is effortless in the best possible way. It feels authentic at every turn, and it’s handily one of the most welcome surprises I think I’ll see all year.

Sisters screens as part of the Inside Out Film Festival on Saturday, May 25, 2024 at 6:45 pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

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