WRITTEN BY: Mark Heyman, Craig Johnson
DIRECTED BY: Craig Johnson
STARRING: Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke WilsonRATING: 3 stars
Funny dramas can sometimes struggle to find the right balance, but when it works, it can make for a great film. The Skeleton Twins does not quite reach the heights of greatness, but it is a very good depiction of sibling relationships, depression, sexuality, love and real life funny moments.
Estranged siblings Milo (Bil Hader) and Maggie (Kristen Wiig) are both considering suicide. Milo is a gay, failed actor living in Los Angeles while Maggie lives a dull life in New York working as a dental assistant and is married to Lance (Luke Wilson) who is perhaps a little too nice for his own good. As Maggie prepares to swallow some pills to end her life, she gets a phone call that her brother is in hospital having cut his wrists in an attempted suicide. She flies to LA to see her brother for the first time in 10 years and brings him back to New York to live with her. There, Milo starts stalking another man (Ty Burrell) with whom he has a sordid past. Meanwhile, Lance wants to have a baby but does not know Maggie is still using contraception and having affairs.
Hader and Wiig have fantastic chemistry, having worked together before. Their lip-syncing scene is very funny and so too is their scene at the dentist. Both moments are vital bursts of humour in an otherwise dark and sad story. It is a testament to director/co-writer Craig Johnson for striking the right balance. Wilson is also good in a goofy kind of way, and Burrell impresses despite being a bit creepy.
The Skeleton Twins is not the kind of comedy you would expect from Hader or Wiig, but it is great to see the pair convincingly tackle some very serious drama.