Movie: The Skeleton Twins
My Rating: 5 stars
I actually made it out to the theater to see this one. I know, it’s shameful that I don’t go see more new releases! But, this movie looked so good that I overcame my laziness. And, I’m glad I did because this movie is so great. This isn’t technically a horror movie, per my October theme. But, it has heavy Halloween themes, and the characters all love a good costume, so it made the cut. This movie is simultaneously side-achingly funny and devastatingly heartbreaking. I love Kristen Wiig and Bill Heder. Those two know each other so well, and they have such great comedic chemistry. So, they were cast perfectly as a set of close, fraternal twins, Milo and Maggie. They’ve been estranged for a number of years, but they come back together to stay with each other for a while after a botched suicide attempt. These are emotionally fragile characters. They had a pretty rough childhood together, so they’re struggling with how to make a life for themselves now that they’re adults.
All this sounds really heavy. And, this movie is technically a drama. But, it’s so funny! And, I’m having a really hard time conveying just how hilarious the script is. Pretty much everyone in the audience was doubled over in uncontrollable laughter. It’s dark humor, sure. All the jokes and riffs come from a place of emotional pain or nostalgia for the kinds of inside jokes these twins had together as kids. But, it feels so real. The humor is raw and organic. And, it’s infectious. The movie feels so special. You have to see it.
I think I connected with these characters on a very personal level as well. Of course, I haven’t had to endure the kind of personal tragedies in my life that Milo and Maggie have. But, I’m a sensitive soul. I feel things deeply, and am subject to bouts of ennui. And unfortunately, I’ve been known to try to solve inner turmoil by acting out inappropriately, just like these kids. But, there’s always a bright side. Just like these crazy twins, I can’t tell you how much I love to sing, and dance, and laugh, and dress up in wild outfits for Halloween! I could be these characters’ triplet! What I’m trying to say is that I loved this movie.
I don’t know if I’d recommend this movie to everyone. There are certain people who just won’t get it. (And, dealing with those people is always maddening). You have to be the kind of person who is in on the cosmic joke—someone who recognizes the absurdity of being, and revels in it. You have to be the kind of person who appreciates the beauty and healing nature of pain—someone who doesn’t categorically reject profoundly sad art. Because sorrow is a valuable part of life just as much as joy is. So, if any of this rings true, don’t hesitate to go see this film. I think it might be your new favorite.