The Skeleton Twins Review: Blood Makes This More Than Skin and Bone

Photo Credit:http://www.ifc.com/fix/2014/06/bill-hader-kristen-wiig-the-skeleton-twins-trailer

We’ve seen examples of Saturday Night Live alums building careers together, but The Skeleton Twins feels like a true risk for Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. The film’s successes, and there are many, point to more significant growth for their careers.

Estranged siblings Milo and Maggie (Hader and Wiig, respectively) haven’t seen each other in a decade for depressing and ultimately unnecessary reasons. With their lives reaching difficult moments at the same time, an attempted suicide brings them together again.

Maggie is married to Lance (Luke Wilson), a simple man who find work clearing trails of brush and twigs. Milo has recently been dumped and looks to reignite a flame with a teacher he had in high school (Ty Burrell) that split the family apart in the first place.

Hader’s portrayal of a gay man is commendable. He plays up all the right stereotypes but never to the point where they become offensive. He feels like a person with a past, present, and future. The same can’t be said for a lot of characters that fit into “the gay one” to make their own movie more “edgy”. The typically comedic Hader surprisingly hits the dramatic beats missing from SNL and many of his other movie roles. Perhaps it’s because his on screen sister is a perfect match, the pair creating an authentic and emotionally resonant sibling chemistry.

The script does their characters a ton of favors, but The Skeletons Twins would likely not have been nearly as impactful without two stars that were already so comfortable playing off each other. Some pacing issues aside, this is a sweet little film that lands the dramatic moments it needs to while offering a ton of great humor. It’s hardly groundbreaking, but that doesn’t matter when you have two stars having so much fun together in a way that clearly challenges them. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

 

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