The Skeleton Twins – A genuine, heartfelt story about battling inner demons
Written by: Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman
Directed by: Craig Johnson
Starring: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, and Ty Burrell
Milo (Hader) and Maggie (Wiig) are twin siblings who are living on separate coast lines, and haven’t spoken in ten years since the death of their father. Milo’s life is not going exactly as planned. He is a failed actor waiting tables at a tourist restaurant in L.A., not to mention he is lonely and single. Maggie isn’t exactly living her dream either as a bored dental hygienist trapped in a boring marriage to a nice guy (Milo points out in one scene “Nice isn’t really your thing”). Both of the twins are feeling depressed to the point where they both decide to attempt suicide. Maggie is about to swallow a hand full of pills, when she gets a call explaining that her brother is in the hospital after cutting his wrists.
Maggie flies to her brother’s side, and decides to invite him to come stay with her and Lance (Wilson) and reconnect. They spend the following weeks trying to mend their relationship and fix their own lives. Through tears and laughs, they come to realize that the two go hand in hand.
I really enjoyed every aspect of this movie. It tells an important story of both the importance of sibling relationships and the difficulty of battling with depression. Hader and Wiig are brilliant. They perfectly float between lighthearted and deeply damaged, and the end result is a real representation of the difficulties life throws at each of us and the toll they take. I expected some hilarity, and it is there (notably in a scene in which the twins lip sync Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”). It is the tenderness and vulnerability they let come through though that makes their characters not only believable but easy to relate to and thus feel for.
Ty Burrell and Luke Wilson are also great in their respective rolls. Especially Burrell as Rich (Milo’s high school writing teacher) who’s illegal affair with a then 15 year old Milo plays a large part in the original disintegration of Milo and Maggie’s relationship. It is plot points like that and a great script co-written by Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman that make this movie a wonderful blend of funny and sad.
There is really nothing to not like here. Every facet of the film is spot on. If you haven’t seen it, you are in luck because it is now available on DVD and Bluray. You should definitely check it out.