By Bill Dudley

Fans of SNL know that Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are two of the funniest people who have ever been on the show. But, did you know how versatile they are?

Last night I saw them both in person as they attended a screening of The Skeleton Twins. These two people really like each other, and that helped them play these 2 similar, yet also very different characters.

The Skeleton Twins opens this weekend in limited release. Directed and written by Craig Johnson, this is sure to be a leading candidate for any and all awards for independent films this year.

First, I must tell you, The Skeleton Twins is NOT a film for everyone. Both  play extremely complex and disturbed characters, who re-connect after a ten year hiatus on the worst day of each one of their lives.

They really are twins, yet each has secrets from the other. Bill Hader plays an unemployed gay actor who lives on the West Coast. Kristen Wiig is his twin sister who we think is a happily married woman.  She lives on the East Coast. Her husband (Luke Wilson) is a regular “dude” who is totally unaware of the secrets his wife has from him. When the Bill Hader character comes to stay with his sister and her husband, years of childhood pain and torture come back to mind for both siblings.

This is the perfect film for autumn, as the funniest scenes take place on Halloween.

Bill Hader lip-sinching to the 1987 Starship song “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” is absolutely hysterical. He even gets Kristen to join in.

All those years in sketch comedy on SNL have paid off, as these two play off each other very well, both in comedy, and tragedy.

Hader claims he was actually scared of Wiig when she was screaming at him in a crucial scene. Wiig says Bill was so good at playing a deeply flawed character, he made her cry.

Although we have seen Wiig on the big screen before, this was Bill Hader’s first dramatic role, and he tears at your heart, whenever you are not laughing at him. Wiig may actually be the most unhappy of the two, even tho she puts up a much better front.

Up and coming hunk Boyd Holbrook plays an on the side boyfriend of Wiig, her scuba diving instructor.

Modern Family star Ty Burrell is the Hader character’s former childhood teacher, that also has a very dark past.

As I said, The Skeleton Twins is NOT for everyone!

Strong adult themes weave their way thru this excellent script from beginning to end. Although you will be laughing quite often, The Skeleton Twins is NOT a comedy. I can best describe it as a melodrama, that has a lot of laughs. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig were absolutely essential to all that is great about this film.

The old adage is true: “Good comedy comes from years of pain.” I highly recommend The Skeleton Twins to select adult audiences.

I hope it does well. It deserves to !

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