The Skeleton Twins; Real Family Comedy

Here is our first movie review by our movie Dude, the Toth. Enjoy it –

“The dog dies at the end?!” Bill Hader responds in mock anger to Kristen Wiig’s accidental give away to the ending of the book Marley and Me. The two former Saturday Night Live alumni star in the new comedy/drama, The Skeleton Twins, about two siblings who are forced to re-examine their lives after they are thrown back together over the period of a few weeks.

The film is often dark and starts out with a suicide attempt that sets up the reunion between the siblings. Bill Hader plays Kristen Wiig’s gay brother Milo who seems to be having one emotional crisis after the other. It turns out Wiig’s character Maggie’s life isn’t that great either even though she is married to easy going Lance played by Luke Wilson.

The Skeleton Twins is a film that has some big laughs that are very well balanced with dramatic moments. It is about relationships and all the positive and negative consequences of being in any kind of relationship. The greatest accomplishment of the film is that both comedic and dramatic moments feel well earned and sincere.

The movie’s secret weapon is the chemistry between Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. These two worked for years together on an ensemble sketch show and were at the top of their game when they left the show.

They have been on the big screen before in 2009’s Adventureland starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. They played a married couple who run the Playland style amusement park Adventureland.

The chemistry in that film was great, but in this film it is flat out amazing. They really do feel like they could be brother and sister. The way that they can convey getting under each other’s skin is incredible to watch. It is also this great chemistry that makes one of the best scenes in the film work so well. I will not give it away but it does involve lip synching. A scene like this would not work unless the audience feels the connection between the two people in the scene. It works perfectly because of all the time that these two actor/comedians have spent together professionally.

Of course, I don’t want to sell the performances, writing, or direction short. This is a well made little film and the director’s choices are spot on, but I will again reiterate that casting the two leads as brother and sisters was a major coup.

I have liked Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig in other roles before. Wiig was great in the movie Bridesmaids, and Hader had an amazingly funny cameo as Jason Segel’s married friend in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

However, in The Skeleton Twins they take their performances to the next level.  The movie was filmed over 22 days (which also means there was an amazing editor on board with this crew) and while there was a great script, improvisation was encouraged by the director.

I can easily imagine the two leads having a hell of a good time making this film and interacting with the rest of the great cast which also includes Ty Burrell from Modern Family in a surprisingly powerful performance.

Writer/director Craig Johnson, along with writing partner Mark Heyman deserve a lot of credit for the excellent script and great direction. By assembling a great cast and writing a great story, the team behind this movie has created one of the best surprises of 2014.

More people should check this movie out because it is a special film that will pleasantly surprise a lot of people. I would rate it 4.5/5 stars. Highly recommended! Available On Demand, download, and disc.

 

One Reply to “The Skeleton Twins; Real Family Comedy”

  1. I can’t believe I did this but Bill Hader’s character in the movie is named Milo, which makes more sense as Kristen Wiig’s sister character is named Maggie. Lance is her husband’s character played by Luke Wilson. Sorry about that faux pas! I’ll try to be more on the ball the next time I’m editing my review. 🙂

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