As you stare at the poster for The Skeleton Twins, the film’s stars, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, stare skeptically back at you and you can’t help but assume that this film is a comedy. How could it not be? Hader and Wiig are known for causing side-splitting, eye-watering, uncontrollable laughter, but in the new film from second-time director Craig Johnson, the SNL alums drop their funnyman personas for more dramatic roles. That’s right, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are pulling a Jim Carey in The Truman Show and taking on somewhat heavy roles as estranged twins Maggie and Milo.
The film opens with both twins attempting to commit suicide on the same night (talk about a telepathic twin connection, right?), and reuniting to reevaluate their lives and figure out what went wrong. From the outside, Maggie seems to follow the normal trajectory of adult life. She has a job, is married, and is trying for a baby, only, she doesn’t love her husband and isn’t ready for parenthood. On the other hand, Milo is a mess — a struggling actor who fears he peaked in high school and isn’t comfortable with his sexuality. When Milo moves in with Maggie and her lunkhead, jock husband Lance (Luke Wilson), the twins try to mend their relationship and their lives through the bonds of siblinghood.
What is so wonderful about The Skeleton Twins is that while each character has very personal issues to deal with, whether they be unhappiness, blind optimism, or even denial, the film tells a story about real people and every day life without preaching to us about who those people should be and how they should live. And although the film covers some dark issues, the bond the twins share provides a nice sense of comic relief. From dancing and lip-syncing to “Nothing’s Gonna to Stop Us Now” to dressing up in outrageous costumes for Halloween, to witty banter and sarcasm, the film leaves you laughing as you contemplate some of life’s biggest challenges. A must-see for anyone who has ever dealt with family issues.
For more on The Skeleton Twins, check out Bill Hader on The Daily Show and the film’s trailer, below.