• Cyrus



    Released by: Fox Searchlight
    Released on: 12/14/2010
    Director: Mark Duplass & Jay Duplass
    Cast: John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei,
    Year: 2010

    The Movie:

    John C. Reilly plays John, a man whose wife left him seven years ago and he’s been in a funk ever since. He still has a friendship with his ex-wife (Catherine Keener), enough so that she makes him go to a party she and her new husband-to-be are attending. Her hope is that he’ll chat with people and maybe meet someone, since he never leaves his house anymore. So he goes to the party, has a miserable time, and gets drunk. While taking a leak in the bushes, he meets Molly (Marisa Tomei, who looks very MILFy by the way) and they hit it off (and get it on). John’s totally enamoured with Molly, but wonders why she seems so guarded. He follows her home after a night of boinking and stakes out her house, and in the morning approaches the home only to be met at the door by her 21-year old son Cyrus (Jonah Hill), who right away seems like an oddball.

    The relationship between Cyrus and his mother is soon revealed to be a little bit strange. John sees a picture of Molly breast feeding Cyrus who looks to be about four years old at the time for example. Cyrus walks into the bathroom while his mom is showering and they sing together. She home schooled him and basically kept him from socializing. Things like that. It is also soon evident that Cyrus doesn’t want John to come into their lives and take his mom away from him, so he tries to sabotage things to keep them apart and break them up. It all comes to a head (and a fistfight) at John’s ex-wife’s wedding and leaves the viewer to wonder if things will work out or not.

    Let’s be honest here. This isn’t really anything new and you KNOW how it’s going to end. That said, there was always the feeling throughout that something else could happen (or maybe it was the hope that something would happen) that was unexpected. So yeah, it kind of leaves you guessing just a little bit. The story is tight and the production is of good quality, but the best part of the movie is the performances. John C. Reilly is his usual awesome self, being both funny and pathetic at the same time, but he’s very likable in his role and his execution is top notch. He could easily fall into playing over-the-top funny roles all the time, but he doesn’t and that’s admirable. Marisa Tomei is sexy and sweet and also has a multi-dimensional role as a smothering mother who knows she needs more in her life but is afraid to let her boy out into the dangerous world. And the kid, Jonah Hill, also does a really great job as an asshole mamma’s boy who deserves a roundhouse kick to the head. He plays a great shithead and is very believable in this part. And that’s not meant as a slight. He pulled it off well.

    Aside from the fact that the plot isn’t anything groundbreaking or even all that original, the one complaint about watching this film is the use of quick tightening and widening of the frame. Lots of jumpy zoom-in and zoom-out moments that can take the viewer right out of the story. It was quite distracting and it would be interesting to know what the point of it was. Perhaps it was to give a rather static film more energy by way of motion, but only the directors can reveal their intentions.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    First of all, this is a screener disc, so it has a studio identification bug that pops up here and there, so why waste time talking about the video quality if this isn’t even the finished product. The film is shown here in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen for those keeping track, but that’s as far as this will go unless the studio sends a copy of the actual disc.

    There are three audio tracks, a 5.1 Dolby Digital English track, a Spanish 2.0 Dolby track, and a French 2.0 Dolby track. The English track sounds great, with a proper balance between the music and talking. It gets quiet in some spots with some low volume chatter, but never to the point of needed to adjust the volume. There are no imperfections to note. It's simply a good solid sound.

    Extras are pretty slim, with just two deleted scenes, a trailer for the movie and some sneak peak trailers for other Fox titles. The deleted scenes have intros by the writers/directors team, who happen to be brothers, and the two scenes are actually better than the typical deleted scenes for this type of movie. Total running time of the two scenes is around eight minutes. That’s it. It’s too bad because the intros (which can be bypassed if desired) are interesting and a commentary track would have probably been a decent listen

    The Final Word:

    A well-made movie with a basic plot is carried solely on the performances. All players keep the movie going, are realistic enough to care about, quirky enough to be interesting, but not so over the top as to be a turn off. This is something you can watch with the little woman and not have to sit through the typical romantic comedy dribble. Probably not much replay potential, and with the sparse extras, this may be one to check out as a rental.