Tammy Blanchard, left, and Mira Sorvino in "Union Square."

Tammy Blanchard, left, and Mira Sorvino in "Union Square." Credit: Handout

There are quite a few familiar and welcome faces in "Union Square," the kind of character-driven movie about whacked-out characters we need more of (the characters and the movies).

For instance, Michael Rispoli, who turns up in the most unlikely places ("The Rum Diaries," to cite one unfortunate example), and Tammy Blanchard (who did a too-brief turn last year in "Moneyball"), and of course Mira Sorvino, of whom little has been seen of late but who barges into this movie like a deranged religious fanatic. But the more significant presence is behind the camera, namely Nancy Savoca, whose "True Love," "Dogfight" and "Household Saints" were the stuff of messy dreams and who seems here to making up for lost time.

This may be why there seems to be so much going on in "Union Square," which is about sisters, without quite being about "sisterhood." When they meet after three years, Lucy (Sorvino) and Jenny (Blanchard) clash like cats. Jenny is engaged to Bill (Mike Doyle), whose family thinks she grew up in Maine. Jenny hides her Bronx accent like the deed to a grave (Blanchard's brilliance is in how she lets it leak out). Lucy is as widely Bronx as the Grand Concourse. Jenny's neat apartment is home to the mail-order health-food business she runs with Bill; Jenny is like a vodka egg cream. Savoca doesn't concentrate on background as much as she does the clashing sensibilities and amorphous honesty of her sisters, and her movie is as talky, fractious and discomfiting as they are. But for all its untidiness, "Union Square" is engaging, funny and adult. And very welcome.

PLOT Two sisters -- one unreconstructed Bronx, the other passing for WASP -- collide on the eve of the latter's marriage. RATING R (strong, adult language)

CAST Mira Sorvino, Tammy Blanchard, Michael Rispoli


PLAYING AT Sag Harbor Cinema

BOTTOM LINE Overly busy but smart, fun and vinegary

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