Let's start with probably the most interesting aspect of this film. It's a drama (sort of) starring SNL's Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. That alone is worth the price of a ticket... just the oddity that is these two making a film about such serious themes as suicide, pedophilia, and general promiscuity. But The Skeleton Twins manages to go beyond that.
It does have laughs. With these two actors, how could it not? But the laughs are grounded in the real world. They feel honest and completely unforced. And Wiig and Hader never let themselves slide too far from the darker aspects of their characters. It's actually very exciting to watch such comedic people walk this tightrope. It ain't a given that they'll reach the other side. So I really appreciate Mark Heyman and Craig Johnson for giving them a vehicle to experiment so within.
And that gets me to the writers. I was fortunate enough to catch them for a Q&A this last week and was very pleased to hear how important this movie was to both of them. It's not by any means a traditional Hollywood flick. And it took them ten years to get it made, so clearly they HAD to get this thing done. I really like how they managed to take so many ridiculous themes and make something endearing and recognizable out of them. Everyone in the audience I attended with seemed onboard and nothing seemed to stray too far beyond anyone's comprehension. It really goes to show that "Hollywood formulas" are not by any means the only way to go. Something that's obviously been proven many times before, but execs tend to ignore the evidence.