After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, The Skeleton Twins is finally showing in theaters and fortunately for us, at the Avon.
Starring Saturday Night Live alums Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, The Skeleton Twins is about Dean (Hader) and Maggie (Wiig), a pair of twins who had not spoken in ten years before reconvening after they both attempt and contemplate suicide on the same day. Pretty dark for two people who made Studio 8H roar in laughter and applause not too long ago, right?
The Skeleton Twins is not a comedy, but with Wiig and Hader, it reminds us that even in the most depressing parts of our lives we can find people who understand us and maybe make us laugh, or at least share a smile. Their performances are phenomenal and incredibly nuanced.
Maggie is married to an adorably oblivious husband, played by Luke Wilson, who wants to starts a family in the near future. Maggie, on the other hand, keeps her reservations about having children a secret, leading to questionable choices with other men. Dean has been living in Los Angeles, trying to make it as an actor but struggling to make ends meet as a waiter. His relationship with his boyfriend has evaporated, and he has no one to turn to. We finally see the twins together when Maggie comes to pick up Dean at the hospital to bring him to her home in New York after his attempted suicide. Through a series of flashbacks, we see the chemistry they’ve shared since childhood and eventually learn that their father committed suicide in their early teenage years, leading to further familial complications.
Wiig and Hader bring such a grounded reality to these characters that even in some of the film’s darkest moments they share subtle looks of intense connection that make you happy they’re together again. Yes, they do find ways to make us laugh with their witty comments and playful connection, but beneath it is a such a believable bond between two siblings that makes you want to call your own sibling or best friend after the film ends. It was also a refreshing film that had such a notable cast (Modern Family‘s Ty Burell plays an ex-lover of Dean’s) that didn’t overpower the substance of the relationships and the plot, as in This Is Where I Leave You.
In the film’s most lively scene, Dean tries to get Maggie to let off a little steam by lip syncing and dancing to Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.” By the end of the film, after realizing how complicated and dark their lives may be, there’s a glimmer of happiness knowing that even if the world around them falls apart, baby, they can make it if they’re heart to heart.
The Skeleton Twins is playing at the Avon this week at 6:25 p.m. and 8:25 p.m.