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Quiet hope emerges from despair in touching sibling reunion film

Quiet hope emerges from despair in touching sibling reunion film

If “sad comedy” is a genre, Craig Johnson’s thoughtful, touching film fits right in.

If “sad comedy” is a genre, Craig Johnson’s thoughtful, touching film fits right in. (I believe the technical term for such a movie is “dramedy,” but it’s a word that gives me the vapors.)

Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play Maggie and Milo Dean, a pair of long-estranged twin siblings reunited, in the film’s opening moments, after Milo’s suicide attempt. In fact, a call informing Maggie of Milo’s suicide attempt comes just in time to stop her from her own plans for the day: swallowing a bottle of pills. Like I said, sad comedy.

Though the film has many funny moments — most notably a priceless lip-sync performance to Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” that brings the twins (and us) a moment of perfect happiness — the primary note struck here is one of quiet regret and, eventually, cautious hope.

‘Skeleton Twins’

DIRECTED BY: Craig Johnson

STARRING: Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell, Boyd Holbrook and Joanna Gleason

RATED: R GRADE: B+

RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes

Reunited in their childhood hometown, where Maggie lives with her cheerful dude of a husband (Luke Wilson, delightful), the siblings sort through their troubled childhood, face middle-age disappointment and realize that the ordinary can be happy.

Johnson maintains a difficult, delicate balance throughout; the story’s darkness never quite overshadows its light. And, in casting Wiig and Hader, he’s created an uncanny pair of siblings. We always believe these two share a past — particularly when they laugh together. Nothing’s gonna stop them, it turns out, and that feels just right.

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