Brought together by their desire to self destruct, estranged twins return to one another’s lives for the good and the bad.
Writers: Mark Heyman, Craig Johnson
Director: Craig Johnson
Stars: Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson
Run time/Rating: 93 Minutes/ R
Popcorn Score: Large Popcorn
For much of the first half of Skeleton Twins, I felt like it was a good movie, but one that I was not enjoying. As the movie went on, that feeling progressed to knowing that it was a good movie and one that I was also enjoying. The story of estranged siblings who are brought back together due to unfortunate situations is upended in this real and raw dramedy – with emphasis on the first half of that blended descriptor.
We follow twins Maggie and Milo (Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader). They are two miserable and sick siblings who are still collaterally damaged by the suicide of their father when they were just 14 years old. Milo has moved to the west coast in attempt to be a famous actor his sister stayed closer to home in attempt to become a domesticated housewife/dental hygienist. Neither is cut out to do what they are doing or be much of anything at this point in their lives.
The two have moved apart but not necessarily grown apart. The fact that they grew up in sync with one another still carries over to the day when we meet them, the day where nearly at the same moment they are trying to end their own lives. If Milo were more successful, perhaps we would have no continued story as Maggie’s plans are only disrupted by the call to her from the hospital after his failed attempt. After the reconnection and Maggie dragging Milo back home to gain back some foundation in his life “The Skeleton Twins” are back creating disaster for one another and those around them once again.
The film stays light for the most part as the two disturbed and instable twins try to find themselves and each other. It is a case of the blind leading the blind and because of witty writing that stays away from the pitfalls a fairly unoriginal plot like this could have fallen into, along with the performances by Wiig and Hader with their natural comedic timing there are plenty laughs to be had. The other shining character in the movie is played by Luke Wilson. Playing Maggie’s “Bro” husband whose love, generosity and youthful bliss toward everything in life is not reflected back towards him in the slightest, made the whole movie for me.
The end could go in either way in an indie black comedy like this. It could leave you exiting the theater, or flipping off the TV miserable and depressed for the rest of the day, or it can wrap everything up nicer and neater than it probably belongs. I will not tell you what happens, but I enjoyed the movie enough to absolutely give it my recommendation along with a….