THE SKELETON TWINS -MOVIE REVIEW
By: Qiniso Mbili
The Skeleton Twins is a 93 minute long comedy-drama film directed by Craig Johnson. It was released in August 2014. The movie stars Kristen Wiig as Maggie, Bill Hader as Milo and Luke Wilson as Maggie’s husband, Lance.
The film tells the sad and funny story of two separated twins that have reunited and are now trying to figure out what went wrong in their lives. As they try to go about doing this they realise that the solution to fixing their lives lies in repairing their broken relationship.
Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader produce powerful and colourful performances that bring the bizarre characters to life. Milo, who is a waiter and has a botched acting career in Los Angeles, attempts suicide by slitting his wrists, but survives. When the hospital informs Maggie, his twin sister about the suicide attempt, her own attempt ,must be put on hold. After reuniting at the hospital, Maggie invites Milo to stay with her at her house which she shares with Lance, her husband, in New Hampton.
This is where elements of the past emerge. The gay Milo had a catastrophic affair with his English teacher, Rich (Ty Burrell) and is now seeking a second chance. Maggie’s affair with her scuba instructor highlights how deep her marital problems run. They discover that their father’s suicide is one of the core problems affecting their lives. Their healing and progress depends on them recalling memories of the past, some of which are unsavoury. A short visit from their mother shows how much love was lacking during their upbringing.
Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are well known for their remarkable talent in the genre of comedy but the watertight storyline in this movie does not give them enough room to showcase their full talent. These two characters are portrayed very well and are funny, but somewhat limited.
The movie is as sad as it is comic. It is safe for one to assume that the director did not want to skew the emotion of the movie towards comedy because he wanted the movie to be emotionally stirring too. The movie does well in exploring the dynamics of family, especially siblings. the movie maintains a beautiful balance of comedy and sadness.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, the whole movie was shot over a period of 22 days. It premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and won the Screenwriting Award at the festival.