THE SKELETON TWINS -- a new dramatic comedy (or maybe comedic drama) from Craig Johnson, shown below, its director and co-writer (with Mark Heyman). What makes the movie work best is its screenplay (which won an award at Sundance), together with dialog that keeps us interested in and rooting for that titular brother and sister for whom life has been, up till now, something less than terrific. That screenplay is full of well-observed characters -- the twins and just about everyone else we meet here -- who bring the film to fine life.
SNL alumnae Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, and both are just about as good as you could wish. While the characters may vie for pride of place, the actors -- smartly -- never do. They play off each other beautifully like the remarkable pros they are, and keep us alternately laughing and wincing at the reality of where depression and poor parenting too often leaves us. Hader and Wiig (shown above and below) are innately comic performers; their ability to make us grin or often full-out laugh, despite the dark happenings here, goes a long way in making this movie so much fun.
Luke Wilson, who makes the combination of adorable, sweet and just a tad slow look like the sexiest thing in the world) to the "older man" who clearly was/is the Hader character's first and greatest love (Ty Burrell -- below, right -- doing a combination of closeted and horny that should ring bells with many would-be "straight" men).
Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions and running 93 minutes -- opened today, Friday, September 12, in New York City (at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square, Angelika, and City Cinemas 123) and in Los Angeles (at Arclight theaters in Hollywood, Pasadena and Sherman Oaks, and at The Landmark). Elsewhere, too. Click here and then install your own zip code and see what happens....