Movie Review: The Skeleton Twins (2014)

imageCraig Johnson’s dark comedy-drama The Skeleton Twins (B) is like a Hallmark Card series launched by The Addams Family: a veritable arsenal of pick-me-up announcements from occasions such as suicide attempts, abandonment, abuse and infidelity. The fact that this tragic terrain is so skillfully navigated by typically comic actors Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader is a testament to the range of their craft. As Wiig’s good-natured husband, Luke Wilson is also effective as an everyman foil. After nearly a decade without speaking, a botched suicide attempt brings the titular adult twins back together to experience why they can’t live with or without each other. Drunken mishaps, terrible truth or dare games, a great karaoke sequence and a fun Halloween outing string together some of the threadbare plot and themes. The tonal shifts come as fast and furious as the characters’ mood swings; and you simply have to be prepared to not know where the journey will take you. The film depicts lots of lows and very few highs, very true to life for characters in the mental state that these are experiencing, and much of the humor comes in their macabre sarcasm. Johnson’s film portends exciting future works to come.