At one point, the woman on the right exercises while smoking a cigarette.
The woman on the right exercises while smoking a cigarette. Courtesy of Le Pacte

I love that there's a whole echo chamber in film-land of French people remaking quiet films set in Seattle by Lynn Shelton. The latest is this "adapte du film Your Sister's Sister realise par Lynn Shelton," as the credits say, entitled Half Sister, Full Love. The remakes are always set somewhere else and directed by someone else and there's a little Sheltonosity they're lacking, but they're not bad. They're smoothly done. And they exist! As a fan of Shelton's, what I love most about them is that they exist.

The one time I've ever been to Paris, I went to a gay bar and saw this poster hanging on a wall—the French Humpday—and pulled it off the wall and took it home with me.


(If you haven't seen Humpday, it's about two straight guys who set out to make a film for Hump!, The Stranger's amateur porn contest, which I might as well plug since we're talking about it. This year's festival opens in two weeks.)

Anyway, yesterday I watched Half Sister, Full Love, the French remake of Your Sister's Sister... and there are good things about it... but it felt so much longer than Your Sister's Sister. I remember sitting down to watch Your Sister's Sister at the opening of SIFF 2012, and then it being over. It was a simple, human, not-belabored story with, I thought, a perfect ending. Half Sister, Full Love is only five minutes longer, but wow it doesn't feel like it. Maybe that's because I didn't understand a word they were saying.

There are subtitles. Twice in the subtitles the words "chastity belt" appeared, making me think of Seattle. The movie is set on an island exactly like one of the San Juans, making me think of Seattle. The main character is a bearded bicyclist, making me think of Seattle, and there is a love-triangle involving a lesbian, making me think of Seattle, and the lesbian is crazy, making me think of Seattle (just kidding, lesbians!), and there is lots of vodka and talk of the softness of butts, making me think of Seattle. But there is nary an actual mention of Seattle.

That said, again, it's too long. If it had an intermission, I would have left during it. It may not be much longer than the original, but it's boring-er. The one weird plot detail from Your Sister's Sister involving a condom is preserved, and the ending is the same, and if I were you I would just rewatch Your Sister's Sister. But! Lynn Shelton will be appearing at the screening tonight, so if you've always wanted to tell a director her version is better than a French remake, tonight's your chance.