Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Oh my did this movie work for me. I watch every episode of SNL and have for years and I cannot think of any other players who have stepped out of the comedy light so confidently and brilliantly. I gush. I do not exaggerate. Read on, it will only take a minute, and have Fandango ready.
Should I pay to see it?
Depends on your enjoyment level of bittersweet movies, ‘dramadies’ or well-crafted films starkly portraying the lives of others. I enjoyed The Way Way Back, for example, however I can fully understand how such a movie would not be for everyone. Clearly, if you read some of our stuff, you know often times movies are meant to be breathtaking explosions and absurdist car chases for our more primal instincts. Sometimes, though, some of us like to see a ponderous movie. I’m of the belief that these are wonderful explorations – if done correctly. I do not adore Juno or Little Miss Sunshine as much as many others, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of taking those journeys with the characters. Life does not, or rarely, gets tied in a lovely not in the end. Yes, there is witty banter and nice moments, but sometimes things get bleak.
The Skeleton Twins gets this dynamic spectacularly. Even if you do not have a sibling, even if you do not like the story, even if you do not like the film, even if you dislike Hader and/or Wiig you will be blown away by the duo. Their chemistry shines through the screen every moment they are together. No. Shine does not nearly begin to explain the powerful reaction I had to the fake siblings, real friends on the screen. The relationship between the two radiates out at you. They are charmingly sad, broken, wonderful, intelligent, self-destructive siblings. Siblings who had leaned on one another, supported one another, and shattered one another. You believe every word, every moment, in every scene that these two love one another but are in turn scarred and scared of their lives. I shall admit I love every single thing Bill Hader does. I want him to be my best friend. I shall further admit that while I actually enjoy Kristen Wiig as an actress, she tended to drive me nuts from time to time as someone who still watches every episode of Saturday Night Live. Both are revelations here. Truly, I was stunned by both performances. The movie is worth the price of admission for the performances of the twins alone.
And that’s not even mentioning the stellar work done by the supporting actors also known more for being hilarious, Ty Burrell and Luke Wilson.
Could I watch it with a date?
So long as you are of similar mindsets/tastes on such movies, as I explained above, this may be part of a nice, thoughtful night out. The actors crush their roles. I opined on the leads, but let me take a moment to delve into the other key players, Ty Burrell (aka Phil Dunphy) and Luke Wilson (still killin’ it on Comedy Central seemingly every other week as Joe Bauers in Idiocracy). Wilson actually may have been my most surprising takeaway from the film, playing a comedically oblivious goon for most, but reminding us all that he can act a bit, when needed. His scenes are highly entertaining and quite emotionally interesting for a guy known for wooing Elle Woods. Ty Burrell does a fine job as well, playing a character vital to the story and packing some emotional wollop.
Caution, though: I cannot recommend this as a first date movie. The Skeleton Twins starts out pretty damn bleakly. I won’t spoil what I found to be a chilling, mesmerizing open.
By no means is this a ‘canoodle-in-the-back’ type of movie. Truly bittersweet. But any good date will appreciate both the acting and the film. Ya’ll can make out later. Although, I saw Jarhead in theaters and a couple went to town during that in a crowded room so maybe I’m the bad date.
Could I watch it with my mother?
No. Do not see this with your mother it will make you both intensely uncomfortable. The intense, realistic sibling relationship serves as a testament to both actors and the movie itself, however I have no (absolutely zero) desire to have to address the issues that arise in the movie in an aging sibling dynamic. Things obviously get real real, son, and as a grown-up (though questionably adult) son, I squirm at the thought of seeing this tale alongside either one of the GWW parental units. Furthermore, Joanna Gleason plays the twins mother and… Let’s just say… they don’t have a great relationship. It’s a beautifully, gut wrenchingly acted and shot sequence of scenes when she gets introduced.
See this movie. I understand not wanting to pay and see it in a theater, I do. There is nothing in it that needs to be seen on the big screen. However I can assure you I left the theater (yup, I paid and saw it in one of my favorite old-school cinemas) with a firm sense of accomplishment. The kind you feel knowing you’ve seen and connected with a wonderful piece of art.