Skeleton Twins, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -4

Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson. Drama.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Brother and sister havenít seen each other in ten years. Heís an unemployed gay and bitter actor; she is promiscuous and unhappily involved with a good man. When the brother attempts suicide, the twins get together and try to find the meaning of life.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Itís the end of the year and Hollywood trots out the most depressing movies they can find in hopes the art house crowd and the many, many award committees will again take the industry seriously after this summerís batch of crude comedies and endless comic book fantasies. Unfortunately many of these new entries like The Skeleton Twins offer little to combat lifeís turmoil. They suggest the problems, but offer no concrete solutions (in my opinion).

Brother and sister each attempt suicide between yelling matches and bouts of bonding. Drugs, promiscuous sex (he reunites with a male teacher who had sex with him when he was sixteen, she with her scuba teacher while her nerdy, but supportive husband is off working), and montages featuring bro & sis doing Karaoke, dressing for Halloween (he in drag), and several abusive verbal battles reveal their personal demons, but they never try to truly explore their inner nature. The sporadic humor is built on cynicism and the filmmakerís insights only point out two very self-centered people trying to cope with the disappointment of how their lives turned out.

Certainly not every film designed to entertain moviegoers needs a spiritual message, but most attempting to walk a path with Christ may find this story unsatisfying. The lead characters numb themselves but never consider their salvation may be found in biblical foundations. While I donít expect many Hollywood filmmakers to address the need for Christ in their lives, when dealing with the true purpose of life, shouldnít they at least examine the spiritual aspect of manís makeup, rather than completely ignore it?

But for me the filmís worst failing is the two protagonists. Theyíre self-indulgent and really unlikable characters. By filmís end, I didnít care what they did, just so long as I didnít have to meet them.

DVD Alternatives:

The Tree of Life: Itís an impressionistic story of a Midwestern family coping with a death, embittered relationships, and haunting questions concerning God and the afterlife. In an era of ďrealityĒ entertainment that often limelightís insipid subjects such as the plight of the Kardasians squeezing oversized bottoms into undersized briefs, Terrance Malick has used a free-form art-house film to suggest the omniscient stature of God. Read the full review

The Life of Pi: Profound and spiritual, Life of Pi was also the most visually stunning film of 2012. Like Terrence Malickís The Tree of Life, Life of Pi bedazzles with CGI visuals that add to and support the filmís viscerally emotional impact. As with Mr. Malick, filmmaker Ang Lee is unafraid of bringing the subjects of God, faith, and the seeking of spiritual fulfillment to the Cineplex. Read the full review.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several crude sexual remarks.

Obscene Language: Ten or so uses of the f-word, with a double amount of the s-word, with several other obscenities sprinkled throughout.

Profanity: I caught six misuses of Jesusí name and one profane use of Godís.

Violence: Brutal verbal abuses and lots of family strife; two attempts at suicide.

Sex: While there are no graphic gay scenes, there is male kissing and the insinuation that itís okay for a teacher to have homosexual sex with an underage boy; an adulterous affair Ė graphic, but brief; several crude sexual conversations.

Nudity: None.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None.

Drugs: Drinking to excess and drug use.

Other: None.

Running Time: 93 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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