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article imageReview: Laugh and cry with the ‘The Skeleton Twins’ Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Sep 25, 2014 in Entertainment
‘The Skeleton Twins’ is a dark comedy about estranged siblings who try to repair their relationship on the heels of personal disaster.
Close relationships formed in childhood often drift apart in adulthood, even within families. Suddenly you realize you haven't spoken in years and have no idea what's happening in the other person's life except for the bits and pieces you've heard from other people over the years. But by then reaching out seems awkward and at worst unwanted. It's been 10 years since The Skeleton Twins have seen or spoken to one another when unfortunate circumstances reunite them.
As Maggie (Kristen Wiig) contemplates the direction of her life, she receives a call informing her that her brother Milo (Bill Hader) had a similar moment that resulted in a suicide attempt. Their reunion is a little prickly, but Milo agrees to return to New York with Maggie for some R&R. As they renew their relationship, Milo revisits an instrumental influence from his past and Maggie tries to keep her life from imploding.
This is one of those "we're all f#@ked up" movies driven by a lot of heart and sarcasm. Milo is a struggling actor slash waiter in Hollywood who recently broke up with his boyfriend and has never gotten over his first love. On paper Maggie is living the dream. She's married to a lovely man, has a house, a career and is trying to have a baby. But she's harboring some serious secrets that could bring everything crashing down around her.
The sibling dynamic in this picture is raw and genuine. The awkwardness quickly gives way to deadpan sarcasm that only family can understand. They're incredibly honest with each other, though even between blood the truth can hurt sometimes. They get high on nitrous oxide together, taking advantage of their lack of inhibitions to share crude jokes and get some stuff off their chest. The more time they spend together, the less it seems like they ever spent time apart. When Maggie is down, Milo lip-sync serenades her with Starship's “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”
The film not only endears audiences to the characters, but for 90 minutes it's as if they're right there with them through thick and thin. It's got a fairly dark sense of humor that often leads to laugh-out-loud moments, but it's also dealing with some melancholy issues such as suicide and a variety of poor life choices.
Wiig and Hader deliver impressive performances. She's sincere in any of Maggie's emotional states, whether angry at her self-involved mother, faking happiness with her happy-go-lucky husband (Luke Wilson) or enjoying a night out with her brother. However, Hader is the film's shining star. His straight-faced delivery of some of the movie's funniest lines is exceptional.
Director: Craig Johnson
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader and Luke Wilson
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