Review: The Skeleton Twins

– by Linda Tran

skeleton posterAfter being estranged for ten years, twins Maggie (Kristen Wiig) and Milo (Bill Hader) coincidentally cheat death on the same day, which prompts them to reunite and deal with the reasons their lives didn’t go to plan. As the siblings begin to face the challenges of life side-by-side, they realise that the key to fixing their individual lives might just be in first repairing their broken relationship.

The Skeleton Twins won the US Dramatic Screenwriting Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and it’s clear why after seeing the film.
Written by Mark Heyman (who also wrote Black Swan) and Craig Johnson (who also directed this piece), it’s a comedic drama that proudly showcases flawed, destructive characters that will always maintain audience’s sympathy.

The Skeleton Twins really pulls the heartstrings by not only having characters that mirror ourselves in one form or another, but by having them live through challenges that we know too well. Whether it’s dealing with disappointments, love, betrayal, pressures of married life, estrangement of family members, accepting your flaws, or just being supportive of each other – this film tackles it all.

The writing is simple and beautiful, and really complements the actors in the film – Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, or Ty Burrell. It does not try too hard to entertain you, but simply pulls you in on a human-level.

Casting former Saturday Night Live stars Wiig and Hader was a genius idea on so many levels. They, yet again, proved their diversity and talent by juxtaposing their comedic skills with amazing dramatic performances. It is clear that these two have history and are comfortable together, as their chemistry as twins are believable (despite looking nothing alike). Their comedic timing feels natural, and it is clear that they bounce off each other. The highlight of the film, which I recommend you look out for, is when they lip-sync Starship’s ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ together.

We cannot forget Wilson or Burrell either, as they both bring to this film different emotions and dramas that really round it out. Wilson brings in the cringey, yet upbeat and positive character to the table: that person who will always see the good in everything, even when the situation says otherwise.

Burrell, on the other hand, tells the tale of the classic ‘star crossed lover’ with whom Hader has a sketchy past. Burrell’s character is the secret past that you try so hard to run away from and forget; the first love you cannot admit to love.

As an avid Saturday Night Live fan, I would advise everyone to go see this film. It’s not “just a comedy”, nor is it “just a drama” – it is so much more than that! I guarantee that you will walk away from this movie having related to at least one theme/plot, and in some strange sense have learnt a life lesson.

If not the remarkably written story or the great performances, go see it for the lip-sync scene.

The Skeleton Twins starts screening at Luna Leederville & Luna on SX on Thursday September 25th.

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