"The Skeleton Twins" is a lovingly calibrated mix of heartbreak and hopefulness, guilt and the will to do better.
Johnson's unfussy direction serves as a fine showcase for the two SNL veterans to demonstrate how their comic shorthand plays equally well in a slightly darker register.
The Skeleton Twins is all the better for keeping us guessing as to its intentions, because that makes it more true to life. Sometimes you have to smile through the tears, and vice-versa.
If a movie with suicide as a central theme can be deemed funny, then writer/director Craig Johnson has pulled it off, mixing heartache and humor and giving Wiig, especially, the opportunity to shine.
Even with performers as likable as Hader and Wiig, and characters as likable as Milo and Maggie, sympathy should be earned. Like an cocksure banker, Johnson takes our investment for granted.
In a poignant and potentially depressing film, it's redeeming to see that when they are with their kindred spirits, even the saddest skeletons can dance.
Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig ... turn their talents toward some really heavy drama, while managing to serve up a few laughs along the way.
The filmmakers think the comedy is where all the humanity is, and maybe they're right. But they don't take humor far enough.
The direction has no style, and the script has no perspective; the result is drama by number.