The Other Sister


Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 21
  2. Negative: 10 out of 21

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Critic Reviews

  1. Marshall has an astounding instinct for popular entertainment. He's done it again with The Other Sister.
  2. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Mark Caro
    Falls into a familiar trap, resembling a neatly wrapped made-for-TV homily. [26 February 1999, Friday, p.A]
  3. Neutralizes these characters, makes them cute and one-dimensional like fluffy dolls.
  4. Skillfully acted, idealized, uneven.
  5. The movie is, however, generous in its condescension: Given enough tolerance, cash and a good sex manual, it says, even the mentally handicapped can be just as middle-class and cute as you or me.
  6. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Susan Wloszczyna
    Consider The Other Sister emotional quicksand. [26 February 1999, Life, p.5E]
  7. 50
    A sweet, at times cloying confection enlivened by strong performances in the central roles.
  8. Attempting to force the story into a romantic comedy template compels Marshall to gloss over the disturbing aspects his characters' disabilities, frequently forcing Ribisi and Lewis to act the part of noble fools.
  9. What redeems the film…are its three outstanding performances.
  10. The humor works beautifully until Marshall decides to beat the comedy over the head and drum us, once again, with this relentless message: "Mentally challenged people in love say the darndest things!"
  11. Oscillates bewilderingly between contrived and insightful, mechanical and sincere, clumsy and graceful.
  12. 38
    Two agonizing hours of lifeless, mind-numbing hogwash.
  13. There's little to recommend this movie, which is part and parcel with Marshall's schlock-dominated body of work.
  14. 30
    The Other Sister is sanctimonious, sanitized fare primarily preoccupied with patting its own back and plucking our heartstrings.
  15. Still, there's no mistaking the central message: Slow people have much to teach us. Or is it: Slow people -- aren't they funny? Either way, it's pretty vile stuff.
  16. 25
    Shameless in its use of mental retardation as a gimmick, a prop and a plot device. Anyone with any knowledge of retardation is likely to find the film offensive.
  17. 20
    Plunging headfirst into mush at every opportunity, Marshall brings out the worst in his actors.
  18. By coddling viewers and micromanaging our responses, The Other Sister shows almost as little respect for the audience as Elizabeth does for her feisty, underappreciated daughter.
  19. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    I'm going to beat my head into a wall until I relieve myself of the memory of this film that was, well, retarded.
  20. It's not the emphasis on tics and grimaces that mars their essentially well-meaning performances, it’s the sitcom crassness of director and co-writer Garry Marshall.
  21. 0
    Contrived, clueless, reprehensible.

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