They call Steven Spielberg the Master of Mirth for a …
Amy Schumer already cemented her place on my year’s favorite entertainment list when she managed to loosely remake 12 Angry Men for the fourth episode of Inside Amy Schumer, but not satisfied with owning television, Schumer decides to revive the romantic comedy for 2015. Lazy writing has cursed the genre for much of the last few decades and studios have responded in kind by not pursuing that market with the gusto they used to.
By transforming nebulous emotions into relatable characters, directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen have created nothing short of a roadmap into the pre-pubescent mind. It’s not always a happy place, which is entirely the point. Often surreal and always delightful, ‘Inside Out’ is a rousing tribute to pure imagination.
As The Skeleton Twins delicately soars between comedy and tragedy, it smartly peels back layers of troubled backstory for the lives of its main characters: estranged twin siblings, separated for about a decade, who share suicidal tendencies. At the very moment Maggie Dean (Kristen Wiig), a dental hygienist from upstate New York, is about to swallow a handful of sleeping pills, she receives the message that her brother, Milo (Bill Hader), an unsuccessful actor in Hollywood, is in the hospital after slitting his wrists. Suicide and dysfunction runs in the Dean household. Their father killed himself when they were teenagers, and their mother (Joanna Gleason) is a pseudo-spiritual egotist with a thick layer of delusional and emotional baggage.
Sometimes you don’t want to hear how everything’s going to be alright. You just need someone to share the chaos with you. The Skeleton Twins is about reconnecting with that someone who makes the din between your ears just a little bit quieter. Superbly acted from a pitch-perfect script, this indie darling should make its presence known come award season. More importantly, it’s imbued with a quiet dignity that rises above patronizing head pats and simple solutions. It’s messy and real and sticks with you long after the laughs have subsided and the tears have stopped flowing.
The amount of time it takes to exhaust the goodwill one has accrued towards an overqualified and bursting ensemble cast is roughly 70 minutes, if The To Do List is any indication. The film’s high concept and its performers, from Aubrey Plaza to Connie Britton to Alia Shawkat to Clark Gregg, are enough to engender some interest for a while, but eventually, The To Do List peters out, squandering away its likability on a strange, ballsy-for-being-irresponsible message and a muddled third act.