Wednesday, October 8, 2014

3 Thoughts on The Skeleton Twins

1. It hit me hard - The best thing I can say about any movie is that I have an emotional connection to it. I feel like I ramble sometimes about how I can personally testify to an "issue" or subject matter of a movie; and I don't always know if that's a good thing or not. However, I purposely don't write "reviews" of movies; instead I write my thoughts down - and obviously my thoughts are going to be more personal than critical (although, I do offer a critical and objective perspective sometimes as well). For me, this movie was tough to watch (in a good way). I didn't expect it to hit me as hard as it did; simply because it's about siblings reconnecting and I am an only child. I don't really fully understand a sibling relationship and I never will. However, I didn't know that the movie is also **slightly spoilery territory ahead** about suicide and depression. I had someone who I was very close to (and probably the closest person I had to being a "sibling" while growing up) commit suicide and I will never wake up in the morning and not feel guilt. No amount of therapy or people telling me that there is nothing I could do will EVER change my mind. I know deep down in my heart that I could have helped. It caused a deep separation in my family because I was not made aware of the situation; and also because, in some way (that no one will ever admit), it should have been me. I am the one with the fucked up childhood; I am the one who is introverted and "depressed"; I am the one who chooses to live alone and has no plans of procreating. In my family's eyes, I would have been an easier (expected) loss. From a very young age, I realized that depression and addiction is in my blood and I was never going to let it control me and I think this is why I am still alive today. I made a decision (at the age of 5 years old) and I stuck to it. While watching this movie, I realized that I connected with both siblings in different ways. With Maggie, my insides screamed "seeeeee this is why I choose to be alone". Maggie chooses to conform to ideals (like marriage) knowing full-well that these ideals are not who she is and it almost kills her. There is so much pressure for people to find a partner, get married and have kids (it's 2014 for fuck sake!) - that people automatically assume that one who doesn't live like this (or want to live like this) is "depressed". Guess what? That's a big, fat lie. I live my life EXACTLY how I want to live my life - and I do this to avoid depression. Like I said, it's in my blood - so coming home to a quiet apartment, popping in a movie and cuddling with my cats is self-preservation. It's what keeps me sane. With Milo, I connect with his expectations for life. I love that he addresses the "it gets better" mentality that is instilled in children now. Um....NO IT DOESN'T. If I grew up thinking it was going to get better; I would probably be dead by now. The older you get, the more chances there are for bad shit to happen. People you love are going to die. Chances are, you won't have your dream job and if you do, it probably won't pay enough to support the lifestyle that you want. You probably won't find your soul-mate and if you do, they will probably disappoint you (or die). AND you will continue to meet shitty people who are ignorant assholes every single fucking day. That's the world we live in; the challenges we will face. I'm not implying that we shouldn't teach our children to dream of a better world for themselves (I'm a big believer in the dreamers of the world). I just think we need to set realistic expectations for what lies ahead. Instead of feeding lies to young people, why not re-direct our energy? My theory is: "it's not going to get better unless YOU make it better". Do what you love. Support and respect the people you love. The end.

2. The chemistry - The reason that this movie works so well, and that I connected to it so much is because of the chemistry between Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. It's absolute perfection. I honestly felt like I was watching actual siblings. I've discussed my recent love for Kristen Wiig before, so I will focus on Bill Hader. Wow. This is a game-changing performance. In the same way that Wiig impressed me with Bridesmaids (the reason that movie was successful is because of the emotional performance from Wiig), Hader goes from sarcastic wit to heartbreaking and soul-crushing depth within seconds. I know he will never be "officially" recognized for this performance, but to me, it's in the same league as other stand-out male performances from this year (McAvoy, Law, Hardy). Another surprising performance is from Luke Wilson. His character is described as a Golden Retriever (or wait...was it a Lab? Doesn't matter), and he plays the role with a perfect amount of aloofness. He is sort of an innocent bystander to it all. Of course, the writers (Mark Heyman and Craig Johnson) should be given proper credit, as well. Their words jump off the screen with the perfect amount of cynicism, humor and insight. It's a simple story, but it's told really well and acted superbly - sometimes, that's all a movie needs.

3. The song - Clearly, the best part of the movie is the lip-syncing scene featuring Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now". Part of it is featured in the trailer; and it pretty much sealed the deal about my excitement for the movie. It's super cute. I was happy that the scene in the movie is actually much funnier than the little clip in the trailer (and obviously longer) and that the scene , itself, really captivates the relationship that these siblings shared as kids. After I saw the trailer, the song remained in my head for months (it's such a good song - I can't believe that I completely forgot it existed!). I thought it was a coincidence that I heard it twice in one day about a week before I saw this movie, but now it's clear that this movie is bringing this song back. I've heard it another 6 times on the radio since watching the movie (about 2 weeks ago) and I don't even listen to the radio very often (just to and from work - which is only 2 miles from my house). It's a song that will forever be linked to this movie from now on. A smile appears on my face just thinking about it; and I honestly can't wait to watch it over and over again in its entirety.

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