Growing Pains – ★★★★½
Suicidal twins Maggie (Kristen Wiig) and Milo (Bill Hader) haven’t talked in 10 years go. They set about rekindling their friendship as they try to keep the thin threads of their lives from snapping entirely. Maggie gets a call from the hospital that her brother has attempted to kill himself and, having failed, is recovering but perhaps is in need of some help. She flies out to L.A. where he has been trying to make it as an actor and takes him back to New York.
This gives Milo a chance to meet Maggie’s husband Lance (Luke Wilson) for the first time and see the life she’s carved out for herself in their home town. While it’s obvious Milo was, and is, struggling with his life it soon becomes apparent everything isn’t plain sailing for Maggie either. Unsure if she wants to start a family with Lance or even stay married to him, with Milo back in her life she finally has someone to confide in.
Hader and Wiig are fantastically cast totally encapsulating the love-hate relationship between siblings. The ease at which they seem to inhabit the roles must come from their time together working on SNL. You imagine much of the interplay between the two was improvised but they can also achieve great emotional depth with the parts showing they’re more than just class clowns. Wilson is great as the try hard husband who is impossibly nice and cutesy and a small but important role by Ty Burrell completes the cast.
While the story seems a little far fetched at times you are more than willing to let it slide when two great performances are at play. The Skeleton Twins is not just a dark comedy, but an examination of family and the bonds that remain the strongest even through the roughest times.
General release in Ireland on November 7th 2014