Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are at their most magnetic in the indie comedy-drama “The Skeleton Twins,” hits theaters Sept. 12.
Directed by newcomer Craig Johnson, “The Skeleton Twins” is a tale of two estranged siblings fumbling to reconnect after 10 years apart but only after both of their lives have taken turns for the worse and leads them to their darkest corners.
Milo (Hader) is a gay, aspiring actor who moved out to Los Angeles in hopes of someday making it big but instead ends up working a dead-end job as a waiter in a Hollywood restaurant. His twin sister Maggie (Wiig) is a dental hygienist, seemingly happily married to her husband Lance (Luke Wilson) in their charming New York home but ends up sleeping with several of her different instructors.
Their father committed suicide by jumping off a bridge when they were 14-years-old and their mother, we come to discover, is disconnected and selfish.
Both frustrated with their lives, the two coincidentally cheat death on the same day. A call from the hospital about her brother’s attempted suicide stops Maggie in her tracks from taking a handful of pills herself.
From here, we follow our protagonists through the cringing pains and awkward glances of rebuilding a relationship after an entire decade apart, with incredibly nuanced performances from leading actors Hader and Wiig.
Although former co-stars Wiig and Hader are better known for their comedic dexterity from their days on Saturday Night Live, the two shine brilliantly in even the most emotionally-heavy scenes.
The film asks a lot of our two actors: light and silly to dark and brooding to cutthroat and brutal. But not surprisingly, given the two’s lengthy past in Saturday Night Live and their friendship off the set, they make it work.
The chemistry between Wiig and Hader is undeniable, from the silliest fart-related scenes to the heaviest gut-wrenching monologues.
Weaving a tight-knit web of humor and brooding drama, Johnson examines the intricacies of sibling love and the gray area of depression and suicide. This approach is a refreshing reflection of reality. Not every moment will be soul-crushing, nor will every moment elicit an impromptu lipsyncing of a popular 80s song.
“The Skeleton Twins” is an irreverent, unforgiving, and undeniable gem of a film.
There are showings at: ArcLight, Hollywood and Pasadena and Landmark Theatres, West Los Angeles
MPAA Rating: R