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REVIEW: The Skeleton Twins

Tuesday, 23 September, 2014

The Skeleton Twins reunites Saturday Night Live grads Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig in a funny and emotional film about siblings reunited after ten years apart. It begins with Maggie (Wiig) and Milo (Hader) both attempting suicide. Maggie’s attempt is stopped in its tracks when she receives a call from the LA hospital where Milo has been placed following his.

Milo moves in with Maggie and her insatiably bubbly husband Lance (Luke Wilson) so that Maggie can keep an eye on him. Slowly the film reveals the events which bonded the siblings so closely together and then drew them so far apart.

This is an indie film of the Little Miss Sunshine school, with a similar brand of humour and focus on dysfunctional families. The sheer number of issues the film tries to include is a little over the top and can suffer from both the lack of time and appropriate weight given to them. There is little investment in the dramatic tension of the film’s reveals.

However, while The Skeleton Twins script may be a little heavy handed and clichéd, it is held together through the chemistry of the two leads. The scenes between Milo and Maggie are both heartbreaking and hilarious. They carry the humour and pathos of the story in a way which is frequently morbid, but thankfully never maudlin.

The Skeleton Twins is in limited release from September 25.

Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14; Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.