We’ve been asking the question of whether or not actors known for comedic work should be able to make the jump to doing more dramatic work probably as long as there have been actors acting, so it’s likely that it’s time for us to finally retire that old debate. One of the most important aspects of being an effective comedic actor is being able to play silly things straight, and one of the elements necessary to being funny in the first place is compensation for a lifetime full of pain, so of course comedic actors are generally able to transition over to dramatic roles easily. As a matter of fact, this movie, The Skeleton Twins, seems to exist solely because of its director Craig Johnson’s confidence that Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are so good at keeping straight faces during sad clown routines, that of course they would be perfect for playing damaged, suicidal characters.
Which is basically what The Skeleton Twins is, a movie about trauma and suicide. Wiig and Hader are playing a pair of twins here, who were all but inseparable when they were growing up, but who now haven’t spoken in 10 years. That all changes when Hader’s character tries to commit suicide and Wiig’s gets a call that she has to come take care of him though. One offer for him to move from Los Angeles to her New York home later, and suddenly secrets start to come out, past traumas begins to bubble to the surface, and a whole heaping pile of open wound humanity gets puts on display. Will these twins figure out how to get their shit together so that they can go forward as healthy adults, or will the pains of their childhood consume them and ultimately put one or both of them into an early grave? I’m not going to tell you the answer to that. You have to watch the movie to find out.