The Skeleton Twins (2014)
December 25, 2014 12:12 AM - Subscribe

Having both coincidentally cheated death on the same day, estranged fraternal twins (played by Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig) reunite with the possibility of mending their relationship.
posted by hush (8 comments total)
I liked this film up until the end, which I felt was contrived. Really? He saves her right back, to paraphrase another movie? Yeesh.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:08 AM on December 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I saw a preview for this on AppleTV and since I love Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, I was totally on board. The trailer looked funny and showed everyone joking around.

I guess I'm mostly mad at the movie studio for misrepresenting it as a Comedy (that's the movie genre it is in for AppleTV), even though it was a pretty ok movie about deep dark stuff. I just wished it was more obvious going in that this would be about suicide pretty much all the time.

The performances were good and impressive for normally comic actors, but I agree the ending was a bit of a stretch to think it would actually happen like that but otherwise it was well done from end to end.
posted by mathowie at 7:18 AM on December 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Agreed - I cannot believe anyone would deem this a comedy. Total mislabeling.

Did their dad commit suicide when they were little?

How did those tiny plastic skeletons last all these years despite little kids playing with them and throwing them in the pool?

The scene with their new agey mother was amazing - my goodness they are all such gifted actors.

Kristen Wiig had just the exact right amount of flat affect going on. So subtle and nuanced.
posted by hush at 2:14 PM on December 27, 2014

Did their dad commit suicide when they were little?

Yes. I thought it was a really brilliant slow reveal, because it wasn't immediately obvious (to me)- at first I assumed he had just left the family, but then it made things a lot clearer about why they all were the way they were, and the lasting impact that suicide has on everyone left behind.

All the scenes with the teacher (I don't remember any character names) left me so skeeved. I mean- it was depressingly realistic that people do sometimes go back to their abusers, and that abusers aren't assholes 100% of the time, that's *why* people go back to them. But it made me feel so ill, literally sick to my stomach. I wish he'd been more of a mustache twirling child molester because it would have been easier. Which, again- it's not a criticism of the movie at all, I just found it really hard to watch. Just... such a fucking creep. Ugh.

I went into this movie with my family & some family friends, having heard nothing about it. My mom said it was 'a dark comedy'. Ha ha haaaa. It left me in a weird funk for a couple of days- I don't know if knowing ahead of time would have helped, but it would have been nice not to be blindsided and then have to pretend to be okay through the dinner afterwards, listening to my dad joke about how he wished they'd both succeeded in their suicides because they were so obnoxious, while I'm sitting there staring at my burger and thinking about my own (long ago) dark days. Weird, weird experience. I thought it was a good movie, but I don't think I could watch it again.
posted by insufficient data at 6:51 PM on December 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I liked this movie quite a bit. As usual the sleeper crackerjack performance comes from Luke Wilson (not to take anything away from Wiig or Hader, who are both excellent). I had to look away several times during Wilson's scenes just because they were so painful: awesome guy who is so deserving of love but who, for whatever reason, doesn't get it.

My favorite moment: Wiig's character is going on and on about how she SHOULD love her husband and her so-stable-it-can't-move married life, and her brother says, completely without judgment or irony, "Well, maybe that's just not what you're into." Unconditional love.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 5:59 PM on December 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

I thought it was interesting that the way people were dressed, I almost could see this movie as taking place about 20 years earlier - the clothes seemed very 80s. I feel like I never really got why Kristen Wiig's character hated her mother so much. I always get a little weirded out seeing Luke Wilson in movies where suicide is part of the plot because didn't he try to kill himself? Or was it Owen? But damn, he plays earnest so well. Also, casting Ty Burrell seemed odd - he did well but it was hard to see him in that role when I just started watching Modern Family.

I agree that Wiig's affect was perfect. The part where she tells the scuba instructor they can't hook up anymore, then seeing her punching the steering wheel after they hook up - that was a little too real for me. With the ending, I could see it if they had screen tested the movie and people got upset that she died so then they changed it. I was more annoyed that the husband found her birth control and then they split - that seemed too pat for me. I never really got why the brother tried to kill himself but I guess as a depressed person, it makes sense - sometimes I feel like I really just don't know what comes next so that seems like a decent option. Then again, I don't really know why she was suicidal at the beginning of the movie either.

After the movie, I heard someone say, that reminds me, I should call my brother. I thought of calling the best friend I grew up with.
posted by kat518 at 10:38 AM on January 3, 2015

Maybe it slipped by quickly, but.. Do we learn why the dad killed himself? Do we learn what sparked the twins to not communicate for 10 years?
This was a good "actor's movie," but I never really clicked with the characters. Agree that the ending needed to be a lot stronger.
posted by starman at 12:54 PM on August 9, 2015

I don't think the movie ever specifies why the dad killed himself. His wife and children may not even have known.

As to their estrangement, I *think* the issue might have been that Maggie told someone in authority about Milos' being molested by his teacher, and Milos thought of it as a relationship and was upset about Maggie's "interference". But then in 2014, Wiig was 41 and Hader was 36. I suppose they're supposed to be playing mid-to-late thirties, which means high school is close to twenty years in the past for them, so if that was the main issue, it was a slow boiling one. It may have been a combination of things that drove them apart besides Maggie informing the adults about Milo's teacher: depression, grief, issues with their mother.
posted by orange swan at 8:35 PM on October 17, 2019

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