August 18, 2015

The Skeleton Twins

Craig Johnson, 2014
Any fan of the Wiig/Hader era of Saturday Night Live probably has an open mind when it comes to cinematic projects that they collaborate in. Some would argue it was the best SNL cast ever. A controversial opinion, one that I actually agree with. They have boldly left the comfort-zone of SNL in search of success in the movie world. It's worked out really well particularly for Wiig who has had commercial success with Bridesmaids but to her credit has taken risks with independent roles that clearly test her range in films like Girl Most Likely and 2013's Hateship Loveship. They are both undoubted balls of talent, and when working together one assumes that they have a level of comfort with each other that will show on the screen. That's certainly the case here, as the duo plays brother and sister who reconnect under not-so-great circumstances after spending many years not having contact with each other.

The most surprising element of the film which comes quite immediately is the dark tone of the story. It's not something that you would expect the two to be involved in, a story of suicide, loneliness, adultery. You realize very quickly that it's a black comedy in it's purest form. The laughs are there, but they are layered. But the film is rooted in good performances by the two and good writing. In a sense Skeleton is the the portrait of the modern American life. A disconnect between two siblings because of all of that life stuff, the baggage and avoidance. Depression, the self-consuming mother, marital distractions, homosexual frustrations, hypocrisy. It's all there, and although it's not an easy swallow, it's still an interesting film.

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