Darkly comical and sardonic, The Skeleton Twins is a poignant study in loneliness. A warning to those about to watch the film: there is no resolution. Much like the Milo and Maggie (Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig), the melancholic, estranged siblings suggested by the title, we are left hanging – not in such a way that we have to ask, “What the hell?”, but in such a way that makes us realize we have no idea what’s coming next.
Neither do Milo or Maggie.
There is slight triteness to The Skeleton Twins, inasmuch as the force that brings the two back together is a suicide attempt, and the finale of the film suggests the possibility of a rebirth, but the meat of the film is comprised of genuinely earnest performances by both Hader and Wiig. Separated for ten years, the siblings are reunited, simultaneously forced to realize that their lives are better with each other – and to remember why they became estranged in the first place.
Maggie is married to Lance (Luke Wilson) a good-hearted, hard-working gentleman who’d like to have children – as he suspects that Maggie does. And it seems within this prospect, writhes Maggie’s major anxiety, whose major source is embodied in her own mother. She absent, flighty beyond belief and completely self involved.
Milo is a young gay male whose attempts at being an actor in Los Angeles are fruitless. Stereotypically, he is a waiter in a small café, but the real tragedy is that he’s scarred an emotionally unavailable.
What’s refreshing about The Skeleton Twins though, is that neither Milo nor Maggie openly pine about their respective issues. Rather, they keep them inside; they wear mostly brave faces – except when they’re drunk.
The Skeleton Twins is far from a whiny melodrama centered on finding one’s self. Instead, it investigates what it means to be lonely, even when surrounded by people.