Earlier this week I viewed an abysmal film about a dysfunctional family in distress (“This is Where I Leave You”: to be reviewed 9/18/14); so it was with minor trepidation that I willingly subjected myself to another family in the throes of a crisis; the difference is remarkable. Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader give performances, resonating with greatness, especially Hader as “Milo”, a troubled gay actor, swallowed by a sea of depression and indecisiveness. Milo, suffers a moment of madness; moves in with his twin sister “Maggie” after a ten- year hiatus. Their complicated relationship is shrouded in a dark, troubled past; unresolved angst, bleakness masked by humor and faked hilarity. Wiig and Hader simmer with sibling familiarity; their screen relationship, informed by a deep off-screen friendship (Saturday Night Live); Maggie and Milo, flawed, troubled, complex, connected individuals, searching for illusive happiness, stumbling, hoping for a meaningful recovery; theirs is a narrative worth exposure, appreciation and empathy. One joyful scene of them lip-syncing and dancing to “Starship” lyrics bubbles over with splendid glee; palpitating pleasure.
Writers Mark Heyman and Craig Johnson gift audiences intriguing, compelling characters deserving of rumination and scrutiny .