Tom Basham

The Skeleton Twins

In This Just OUT on September 27, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Skeleton_Twins-PosterI was tired of all the happy, sunshiny movies, so today I saw “The Skeleton Twins.” I know that tragedy plus time is comedy, but the most important thing is the, uh, I guess it would be: timing.

Milo (Bill Hader from “22 Jump Street“) is depressed and suffering from life so he decides to put an end to it – his life, that is. Fortunately, in Los Angeles the neighbors are nosy and they find him before it is too late.  At the same time in New York, his sister Maggie (Kristin Wig from “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”) is about to swallow a fistful of pills when she gets the call about her brother. She has not spoken to Milo for 10 years, but she flies to LA to be there for him.

Maggie brings him back to New York for a while until he “gets better.” Milo gets to meet her husband of two years, Lance (Luke Wilson from “Death at a Funeral“), and examine her seemingly perfect life. While we all know she is not happy, it takes a while for Milo to catch on. Still, he has his own issues that are not going away. When we meet their mother (Joanna Gleason from “Last Vegas”), we learn a little bit more and all I can say about their father is that he is not around anymore.

As sad as all this is, I found it to be a delightful story about two people who are missing something. They are not happy with the way their lives have turned out and they are tired of trying to find ways to be happy. The last thing they think they need is family. You know these people do not spend holidays together when the best compliment Maggie can come up with is, “There are worse things than being a shitty mother.”

There is plenty of smart writing in this movie, and great performances by two leads who are comfortable in their own character’s crazy skin. I don’t think they set out to entertain me, or make me laugh or show me something clever, but it happened. I learned something about the human condition and how family is the best and worst thing we have. That reminds me – I need to call my sister.

If all this strife and struggle are too much for you, Maggie and Milo do a song from Jefferson Starship that is worth the price of admission. For that, I must give this movie 4 stars out of 5. See it with someone who will talk you down off the ledge.

Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker. Here is a link to his movie review site:


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