The Skeleton Twins

On Saturday night my husband and I went to see “The Skelton Twins” staring Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader.

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I’m sure it’s because my only sibling is an older sister but I find that brother/sister relationships are the least explored in books, TV and film. As a result I am always a sucker for them. This one also had the extra element of Bill Hader’s character being gay that made it even more of a must see for me.

The preview makes the movie look like a comedy with a little bit of drama in it but in reality it’s the opposite. It is a drama with a little bit of comedy in it. Despite this misrepresentation I absolutely LOVED the movie.

After ten years of not speaking each other Maggie (Wiig) and Milo (Hader) are reunited after he attempts suicide (see I told you it’s a drama).

THE SKELETON TWINS, from left: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, 2014. ©Lionsgate/Courtesy Everett

When Milo goes to live with Maggie and her husband, Lance (Luke Wilson) they are both forced to confront the demons of their lives; both past and present.

What I loved most about the movie was the complicated relationship between Maggie and Milo. They are both very flawed people who sometimes hurt each other. But they are also people that are trying to get better and care very much about each other. While I am a sucker for any brother/sister story I found the relationship between this gay brother and sister especially touching. Not only is there a specific dynamic that is special between a brother and sister that is unlike any other there is an extra special dynamic between and gay brother and sister. I LOVED the sequences that showed Maggie putting make up on Milo when they were little. The dynamic between them is also shown in adulthood when Maggie once again dresses Milo up in drag for Halloween and when Milo tries to cheer Maggie up by lip-syncing Starships “Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now.”

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As great as the writing and directing is (more on that later) the film wouldn’t have worked without the amazing performances and chemistry between Wiig and Hader. Kristin Wiig is so amazing because she has an ability to be funny and heartbreaking all at the same time. Bill Hader does a phenomenal job playing Milo. He creates a portrait of a gay man who is quite gay but at the same time that is just one part of him. His issues aren’t because he’s gay; in fact it’s his gayness that seems to be the most functional part of him. Luke Wilson is also good as the husband who is too solid and normal to be interesting to Maggie.

I loved, Loved, LOVED this movie. I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you find it in the theatre near you rush and see it, it’s THAT good.

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After the movie was over the audience I was with was treated to a surprise. We got to enjoy a Q&A with the co-writer and director of the film Craig Johnson and Bill Hader.

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It was so cool! It was very interesting to hear how the story had originally began with the relationship between Milo and is former high school teacher (Ty Burrell) but changed into the amazing brother/sister story that it ended up being. There was a lot of talk about the amazing chemistry between Hader and Wiig. Bill Hader was quite funny during the Q&A and it was interesting to see how excited he was to be in a drama. This is not an uncommon thing for comedic actors; they so often want to show they can be more than the clown. I found Hader so good in the movie and so likeable during the Q&A that I hope he can do more dramas. My favorite inside piece of information was that in the script Milo was supposed to sing Wilson Phillips “Hold On” to Maggie but because of “Bridesmaids” they had to change the song. As much as I love “Hold On” I think the Starship song worked better because it’s a duet.

The Q&A was such an unexpected bonus to an already fantastic movie. Sometimes I hate living in LA because of the traffic but sometimes I love it because of bonuses like this Q&A.

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