Perfect Sisters (NR)
Drama 98 min. April 11, 2014
Older sister Sandra plays mother to Linda and their younger brother at home yet is the attention-seeking pathological liar at school; Beth is the Goth whose uncanny resemblance to Nancy of The Craft goes right down to the manic gaze. They come to the conclusion that euthanizing their mother would alleviate everyone's misery (including hers). Any potential for an in-depth examination of the adolescent psyche pushed to its limits goes unmet, though not for lack of trying. Stanley M. Brooks' directorial debut's attempt to make sense of what happened falters by laboring to tick every item off the timeline checklist instead of focusing on who these Bathtub Girls were underneath the dysfunction. Without that who, we can't comprehend the extent of the why.
But there is fleeting beauty in the subtle gestures by the lead actresses — both departing from the charming, blissfully youthful roles that put them on the map — especially when the story pauses to hone in on the sisters' uniquely strong bond, which is unmarred by awkwardly staged scenes at a house party or their shared, oddly glowing imagined iteration of Linda as a perfect mother.