Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are the last two people I'd expect to carry a film with the dramatic weight that The Skeleton Twins promises to carry with it. It's horrible stereotyping, I know, but when you look back at their most memorable performances from SNL, as well as their various individual film efforts, you'd expect these two to star in a film that's more about broad comedy and less about nuanced emotion. Yet lo and behold, from the first moment of the trailer to The Skeleton Twins, I was sold 100% and would stay that way throughout the duration.
Roadside Attractions broadcast the trailer through their official YouTube channel, which tells the story of a pair of twins who avoid dying on the same day, only to reunite after a 10 year absence. As they try to help each other deal with their rather complicated love lives, the two naturally goof around a lot and take the sadder side of live with a funny approach. It sounds formulaic on paper, but trust me – the trailer sells it oh so wonderfully. Even the annoyingly cliched "let's cheer up through lip syncing an 80's hit we loved as kids" device manages to come off as endearing when its deployed between Hader and Wiig.
Joining in on The Skeleton Twins action are Luke Wilson (Kristen Wiig's husband in the film) and Ty Burrell (Bill Hader's ex), both of whom look at the top of their game in the limited capacity the trailer shows them. The best compliment I can pay this trailer is that it takes a really good cast and allows them to work to their fullest potential, turning a movie that could have been just another paint by numbers indie flick into one that looks like a serious contender at the box office. With both SNL vets occupying that period of their career where they're trying to sell a movie based on their lead performances, both Wiig and Hader look to have a hit on their hands that will ensure their continued career development.
To be fair, Kristen Wiig is a little farther down that road with Bridesmaids being her mainstream calling card and Hateship Loveship further branching her out into the independent film market. If anyone could use the boost from this film, it'd be Bill Hader, seeing as this is his first live action film playing a prominent dramatic lead. It's hard not to compare him to a very similar character Steve Carell played in the comparably indie Little Miss Sunshine, but the comparison is a flattering one. If Hader can pull off half of the mix of sweetness and morose nature that Carell did in Little Miss Sunshine, then this could be the breakout role he's been looking for.
The Skeleton Twins come to town on September 19th, and they promise to bring a mixture of warmth and wit with them when they do.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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