The Skeleton Twins

Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions

“The Skeleton Twins”  (2014)

When we first meet Maggie (Kristen Wiig) she is doing some soul searching in front of the bathroom mirror. She is debating whether or not to take a bunch of pills and commit suicide. About to do the deed, she is interrupted by a phone call. Her twin brother has attempted suicide and is recovering in a hospital. Maggie hasn’t seen or talked to her brother Milo (Bill Hader) in ten years. She convinces Milo to come back to their hometown to stay with her and her husband Lance (Luke Wilson).

The Skeleton Twins

Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions

Milo and Maggie try and reconnect, but we can see that something big has happened in their past that is getting in the way. Maggie seems to be the more stable of the two. She has a decent job as a dental hygienist, is in a married to a good guy in Lance and has several hobbies to keep her busy. Milo, on the other hand, can’t keep a job or a boyfriend and has never achieved any success as an actor. Soon we see that there were reasons Maggie was about to attempt suicide. She is constantly getting annoyed by her husband. She is also very quick to start up an affair with her scuba teacher; a handsome Australian named Billy (Boyd Holbrook). Milo isn’t doing well either. He is just off a broken relationship and seems unmotivated to do anything other than try and start up a relationship with an older man from his past, Rich (Ty Burrell). Rich doesn’t want anything to do with Milo, but that doesn’t stop Milo from trying. As Maggie says “Few people are stars. The rest of us are just walking around wondering how our lives got so bad.” The big question is will Milo, and Maggie continue to make dreadful decisions that threaten not only their relationship, but their lives as well?

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The Skeleton Twins

Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions

“The Skeleton Twins” is a sweet, smart drama that contains quite a bit of humor. This is accomplished from the wonderful chemistry between the two lead characters, played by the brilliantly droll Hader and the scintillating Wiig. They play off each other with such an ease that it makes this film such a joy to watch. Both actors are given dense, multi-layered characters by co-writer / director Craig Johnson. While Milo can be a self-centered pain in the butt, Hader gives him a vulnerability that makes us like and root for him. Wiig gives her character an incredible amount of depth, letting us see through her actions and facial expressions just what her character is going through.

The supporting cast is as good as the two principle actors. Luke Wilson gives an incredibly restrained performance as the lovable, slightly dense husband. It would have been really easy to make his character go over the top, but instead Wilson plays him with a quiet enthusiasm. Joanna Gleason plays the twin’s mother in a brief role, who comes off incredibly narcissistic, giving us a clue as to why they are so damaged. Ty Burrell perfectly plays the love interest of Milo, giving us insight into Milo’s past.

The Skeleton Twins

Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions

The film is well-paced, giving us time to explore Milo and Maggie’s characters, slowly revealing their very repressed layers. Johnson gets the most out of his actors, letting them give us rich, full performances. The film is beautifully summed up when, in an attempt to get his sister to reconnect with him; Milo starts lip-syncing to Starship’s “Nothing Gonna Stop Us.” It’s a scene that could have been hokey and cringe worthy. Instead, it’s a moving display of their love for each other that sums up this movie in one perfect, funny moment.   My Rating:  I Would Pay to See This Film Again

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My movie rating system from Best to Worst:  1). I Would Pay to See it Again  2). Full Price  3). Bargain Matinee  4). Cable  5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again

“The Skeleton Twins” is currently playing in Atlanta area theatres.

“The Skeleton Twins” Website

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