I was interested when I saw a brief trailer for The Skeleton Twins, a Sundance Winner and an 85 on Rotten Tomatoes. It starred Saturday Night Live alumni Bill Hader (my favorite impressionist) and Kristin Wiig (without her tiny baby doll hands) in Hader’s first drama. Little did I expect just HOW much drama the movie would have. It got off to a rollicking start when Milo (Hader’s character) slits his wrists and waits for the end. A while later his twin sister Maggie (Wiig) is about to down a handfull of pills when she gets the call from police that her brother is in the hospital after a suicide attempt. She postpones her exit for the time being and brings her estranged west coast gay brother home to Nyack (NY) to recover. What ensues is an excruciating family drama. Milo also contacts his estranged mother, a space-cadet from Sedona who comes to the house and spreads so much love that even the audience feels the need to get hosed down to rid themselves of saccharine new-age platitudes. The absence at the table is the father, who apparently killed himself many years before, leaving this psychological train wreck behind him. As if all this is not enough, Milo also gets in touch with the local ex-pedophile, a defrocked teacher who had seduced Milo in high school and is now pretending to be straight, with a girlfriend and a son.

In the meantime, we also find out that Maggie, who is married to a really nice guy and “trying” is, in fact lying, taking birth control and having numerous lovers. This is one screwed up family. It’s hard to believe that they are even allowed in this respectable, idyllic suburban paradise. Things only get worse as this goes on, until it’s over.

If all this sounds like a really really dark SNL sketch, it’s not. It’s played completely “straight” (not in regard to sexual orientation) with only a few brief glimpses of the humor that Hader and Wiig brought to SNL in all of those great sketches. The movie dialog is written quite well (if you like that sort of angst) and, both Hader and Wiig are quite good in their very dramatic roles. While the story is over the top, none of the acting or direction is. I really came out feeling that the only character I liked is the guileless, cheerful and likable husband, who is completely and guiltlessly betrayed by Milo and Maggie. Everybody else is wallowing in a warm tub of self-absorbed misery. You might want to stock up on your psych meds before you see this one. The trailer picks the lightest parts of the movie.