THE SKELETON TWINS Review

7.5

Film Pulse Score

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Release Date: September 12, 2014 (Limited)
Director: Craig Johnson
MPAA Rating: R

It’s been ten years since estranged twins Maggie and Milo have spoken to each other.   They have established their lives on opposite coasts. Milo is a gay, struggling actor living in Los Angeles, and Maggie seems to be living the ideal life with her husband in upstate New York. There has always been talk of some sort of psychic bond between the twins. For example, one twin may feel pain in an arm that the other may simultaneously feel in the same spot, not necessarily as pain but as a sensation. With that in mind, it is a near-tragic moment that brings the two of them back together. This is how Craig Johnson’s entertaining dra-medy The Skeleton Twins opens, and it only just begins to scratch the surface of just who these people are and what they are going through together.

The film’s theatrical trailer may lead one to believe that this is just going to be yet another silly family relationship comedy. On the contrary, there are some realistic, multi-dimensional characters experiencing true-to-life situations. The film’s humor is derived from how characters deal with situations. Many of the funny moments stem from awkward conversations, reactions, and, in one instance, some seriously epic lip-synching. However, this film is not a pure comedy; there is some heartfelt drama as well. Johnson and his co-writer, Mark Heyman, were able to maintain a solid balance between the two genres and have crafted a relatively touching film about the bonds between siblings.

Their job was certainly made easier by having Saturday Night Live veterans Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play Maggie and Milo, respectively. The on-screen chemistry they share is palpable, and it certainly elevates the film from being just another movie sit-com. You really do get the sense that they are not only brother and sister, but also twins as well. Wiig and Hader are best known for their comedy work, and when the moment calls for their comedic skills they deliver. Two of the film’s funniest scenes were predominantly improvised by the duo. However, when it comes to the dramatic portions of the film, they knock it out of the park. They certainly show that they both can do more than just comedies. The film also features too solid supporting performances by Ty Burrell and Luke Wilson. Burrell plays Rich, an old flame of Milo’s, and Wilson plays Lance, Maggie’s husband. Burrell is probably best known for his work as Phil Dunphy on Modern Family, and he is great portraying a conflicted man.Wilson is just so likable as Lance, and you can see why Maggie married him.

The Skeleton Twins is an entertaining comedy-drama about family relationships, the secrets we hide within ourselves and how truly messed up we all can be. It goes to show that sometimes the ones who truly get you are family, and like they say, the truth hurts.   If you’re a fan of Wiig and Hader you’ll definitely want to see them play against type and succeed.