The Skeleton Twins (2014)

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8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Wiig and Hader work well

Good but does not quite reach great, Ty Burrell is a bit of a distraction

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Skeleton Twins

Studio:  Duplass Brothers

Genre(s):  Comedy/Drama

Release Date(s):  January 19, 2014 (Sundance Film Festival)/September 12, 2014 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

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Let’s go for the gold…maybe Golden Globe or People’s Choice instead of Oscar?

Milo (Bill Hader) is staying with his estranged sister Maggie (Kristen Wiig) after a failed suicide attempt.  Back home, Milo finds himself hooking up with his old teacher Rich (Ty Burrell) as Maggie questions if her marriage to Lance (Luke Wilson) is working as she sleeps with her scuba instructor (Boyd Holbrook).  Though they work well together, Maggie and Milo’s problems are boiling over and the love they have for each other could be toxic.

Written and directed by Craig Johnson (with help from Mark Heyman), The Skeleton Twins is a comedy-drama.  The movie was released at Sundance and received positive reviews for both Wiig and Hader.

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I’m a little princess!!!

There is a massive market for comedy-drama.  Most movies star a popular comedian and have them putting on a serious role.  Many of these comedy-dramas don’t work, but a large portion of them do.  The Skeleton Twins is good, but it doesn’t quite reach very good.

The story reminds me a lot of a more upbeat You Can Count on Me combined with Little Miss Sunshine.  The two main characters can work magic together but extended periods of time together can potentially bring out the bad.  The movie does a lot of making the viewer guess the problems and I like that because people don’t generally sit around and lament by voicing all their issues.

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It is kind of like Phil Dumphy is cheating on his “Modern Family” with Bill Hader

It is always challenging when comedic actors go for drama.  Like most movies in this vein, the movie still had a lot of out and out comedy moments for Hader and Wiig to play up, but the two actually do a decent job with the more serious moments.  I do like Luke Wilson as the guy who starts out appearing as a bit of a jerk but really does prove to be likable.  I found Ty Burrell a bit distracting as Hader’s romance because I just kept seeing Phil Dunphy since he generally does have much range in his acting.

The movie looks good and has some nice moments.  You can tell that Wiig and Hader were given some room for improvisation but the two didn’t go over the top.  You also have to love a movie that stops and has a music moment with Jefferson Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna to Stop Us Now”  (though you add Bridesmaids Wilson Phillips moment, you almost are now expecting an ’80s lip synch in Wiig’s movies).

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Nothing gonna stop us now!!!

The Skeleton Twins might not be the laugh a minute type movie you expect from Wiig and Hader, but in the place of laughs, it has some nice moments.  The movie’s script could have been tweaked a little to improve it because it does have a harder time than some comedy-dramas balancing between the comedy and drama.  A few of the ending sequences were too heavy for moments earlier in the movie.  I’d like to see both Hader and Wiig try an even more serious role sometime just to see if they can pull it off, but until then The Skeleton Twins is not a bad fix.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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