It all starts with the balloon dog. Once you can make this, you can make anything. At least that's what the balloon "artists" in Twisted: A Balloonamentary say, but some of the ornate and monumental structures that they construct in the movie indicate that one other ingredient is needed: a big ol' dose of the crazy.
Twisted is a sweet, not especially penetrating look at these folks, many of whom make quite a lucrative living from balloon twisting. (Six figures! Who knew?) Some of their stories are compelling. For example, "Mr. Me" transcends his poor roots in Atlanta to become a positive force in the black community, while Vera uses balloon twisting as a way to get out of the trailer park and pay for school.
Some of the others, though, are pure nutjobs. There's a guy named John Holmes—yep—who makes balloon images of Jesus on the cross, and sells a video instructional series on how to spread the gospel through balloon twisting. His backstory engenders some sympathy—abusive upbringing, drugs, jail time—but it all flies out the window like a loose balloon when he starts welling up at how blessed he feels to be able to get to spend his time on Earth making balloon Jesuses.
Twisted, which features some brief narration by Jon Stewart, is strongest when it shows the balloon artists' work, some of which is pretty remarkable, like the huge 40-foot tall soccer players or the intricate geisha girl. It's less gripping when it focuses on the twisters themselves; for most of them, balloon twisting is the most interesting thing about them. It's a slight study of a group of people who have found happiness and fulfillment through balloon twisting. If only it was that easy for the rest of us.