THERE MUST BE some some sort of pact between paid movie reviewers and Hollywood film producers to make sure audiences will flock to the box office, which would explain all the lying. How else could the critic at Rolling Stone describe “The Skeleton Twins” as “hilarious”? It is not only not hilarious, it is not even plain ordinary funny. In fact it is downright bleak and depressing, so don’t go in a bad mood. Just so you know, it’s about Suicide (with a capital S), although it touches peripherally on pederasty, sexual addiction and estranged families as well.
The story revolves around a pair of fraternal twins–they are not skeletons but they do have skeleton tattoos, which matters not one iota to the plot– who are totally screwed up and hate their mother, as well as themselves. Offspring of a suicidal father, one of them is gay and was molested as a teen and the other is trapped in a loveless marriage and engages in random, meaningless sex at every opportunity. They both try and fail at suicide which is really a drag — for them and for the audience. The fact that the sick siblings are played by Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, two former “Saturday Night Live” comics, is the only reason to see the movie. They are great fun to watch together and obviously have a lot of fun being together. That’s nice for them, but meanwhile, what are we supposed to do?
To be fair, there are other cast members who act their hearts out, too. But the tale told is a thin one, literally full of sound and fury signifying nothing. There is one memorable scene where the twins lip-sync an ’80s song like they did back in happier times, and that’s surely fun to watch. But it only lasts like a minute and a half and then you’re back to Kristen Wiig mopping up dead goldfish from the kitchen floor.
Andrea Rouda blogs at “Call Me Madcap.”