Real-life sisters Jemima and Lola Kirke star in the relationship drama Untogether. As in real life, their characters, Andrea (Jemima Kirke) and Tara (Lola Kirke), are separated by about five years and an accent—Andrea has a British accent, while Tara has an American accent. While writer/director Emma Forrest said in a Tribeca Film Fest Q&A that having the actors keep their original accents were simply a practical decision—actors perform better when they’re not thinking about whether they’re doing their fake accent right—the way the sisters speak serves to highlight a difference between the two characters. The pink-haired, vintage-obsessed, former-wunderkind-writer Andrea grew up with the “bad dad,” who got her hooked on heroin at age 15, before getting sober himself soon after. The younger, vivacious, immature Tara grew up with the “good dad”—the same man, after he got sober.
When the movie opens, Andrea is one year clean and living in a treehouse in Tara’s L.A. backyard. The sisters are coping with their father’s recent death in different ways—instead of doing drugs, Andrea chases a different kind of high by hooking up with an ultra-successful doctor-turned-memoirist, Nick (Jamie Dornan, who also keeps his Northern Irish accent). Nick insists that they keep things casual, despite Andrea’s growing feelings. Tara begins drawing away from from her devoted, much-older boyfriend, ‘90s two-hit-wonder Martin (Ben Mendelsohn) when she devops a crush on an even-older man, married rabbi David (Billy Crystal). Deprived of Tara’s attention, Martin begins flirting with Andrea.
The strongest parts of Untogether are when the two sisters bicker, argue, make up, and joke around with each other—but unfortunately, the movie instead focuses on the romantic relationships, none of which are particularly interesting or inspire you to root for them. If Andrea and Tara had dumped their love interests early and Forrest had spent the rest of the movie exploring the sisters’ relationship, I’d have loved Untogether. But unfortunately, that’s not the movie this is. (3 / 5)
top photo: Untogether
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