The Skeleton Twins

Directed By: Craig Johnson

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Bill Hader, and Ty Burrell

Suicide can have long-lasting consequences that reach far beyond the individual taking his or her own life.  If that person has family, friends, or other loved ones left behind in this world, there's a good chance that those persons will be scarred for life.  The emotional toll of someone doing something this unnatural is extremely heavy and can last a lifetime.  Just ask all those unnamed souls struggling with the reality that someone close to them has checked out of this life.  This weekend's The Skeleton Twins puts this on full display.

Coping with his failed acting career, Milo (Bill Hader) decides to end it all by taking his life.  Because he's blasting the stereo and annoying neighbors in his apartment complex, he's rescued before his suicide attempt succeeds.  That same day, his sister Maggie (Kristen Wiig) is staring at a set of birth control pills in a rather dejected manner.  She receives the call about her brother and goes to the hospital.  Despite having not seen him for ten years, she brings Milo back home to stay with her and her husband Lance (Luke Wilson).  While at his sister's house, Milo gets in touch with his former lover Rich (Ty Burrell).  Meanwhile, Maggie struggles with the fact that she's taking birth control pills while she's supposedly trying to have children with Lance.

The Skeleton Twins is a surprisingly amusing and touching exploration of depression and suicide.  With solid production value and strong performances from the cast, the film makes a compelling yet funny case that suicide can tear families apart, especially when children are involved.  Looking at the emotion-laced narrative and seeing that both Milo and Maggie are scarred by their father's suicide years ago, it's crystal clear.  Thanks to director Craig Johnson and his cast, there's a certain rhythmicity to the film that amplifies both the more comedic and dramatic scenes, all of which play on this melancholic theme of the film.  Moreover, The Skeleton Twins may just be the most delightful deep dive into depression I've seen on the big screen.

In an intimate film like The Skeleton Twins, acting is critical, and the cast rises to the challenge.  Last seen in Girl Most Likely and Hateship Loveship, Kristen Wiig knocks it out of the park as the unfaithful wife and distant sister Maggie.  She brings enough weirdness to the character that allows her to showcase her typical brand of comedy as well as some pretty poignant dramatic scenes. She's definitely a convincing depressed individual.  The same can be said for Bill Hader in his performance as Milo.  He's the gay male version of Maggie.  Equally weird and a bit more energetic, he's a great on-screen companion to Wiig.  He's not able to embody the depths of depression quite like Wiig, but he delivers just as much comedy.  For his part as Lance, Luke Wilson also delivers quite a bit of humor with just the right timing.  Lastly, Ty Burrell takes a more serious turn as Milo's former lover Rich.

There's a lot that goes right for The Skeleton Twins.  Craig Johnson is the right man to be in the director's chair.  The cast gels well.  There's even an entertaining trip back to the 80’s with Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now".  It all comes together into a beautifully depressing film.  The Skeleton Twins gets a 0.03% rating.  Have some wine coolers with this one.