There must have been a better way to enter into this promising script than with cheesy kite-flying on the beach and slo-mo waves. Same goes for the expositional voiceover telling us it was always “my sister and me against the big, bad world” when only seconds later, we meet surly, fiercely connected siblings Sandra (Abigail Breslin) and Beth (Georgie Henley), rattled by multiple moves, divorced parents and glibly vicious high-school peers. By the time we see their mother (Mira Sorvino, boldly reminding viewers of her riskiness) drunk on the kitchen floor, old habits reappearing, it’s a completely different movie.
Perfect Sisters, which takes a dark, matricidal turn (inspired by an actual Toronto case), was never going to be a new Heavenly Creatures. But give credit to director Stan Brooks for allowing his two former child stars some real meat to sink their teenage chops into. Much of the film is slipshod, but the domestic crisis (Mom’s new boyfriend is an abusive creep) packs a real wallop, as does the solution.
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