Cyrus (Review)

(6/18/10; Comedy, Drama)
John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei, Catherine Keener, Matt Walsh
SCR/DIR: Jay & Mark Duplass
MPAA: R for language and some sexual material.
1 hour 31 mins
BOX: $7,468,936

John (Reilly) is a loveable loser dragged to a party by his still-friendly ex-wife (Keener). As he gets drunker, he manages to attract the affections of Molly (Tomei) and they begin a tentative relationship. The only problem: Molly’s grown son Cyrus (Hill), who has a few issues of his own and sets out to sabotage the relationship.

This is the first studio movie for the Duplass brothers (The Puffy Chair) and the combination of their indie sensibilities and a studio budget (and stars) is refreshing. After a string of similar comedic roles, Hill shines as a character that is manipulative and intelligent, but emotionally stunted.

As for Tomei, she is consistently doing the best work of her career (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, The Wrestler) and some of her best moments are just reacting to others. There are many ways this could have slid into slapstick territory but the entire team keeps it uncomfortably genuine.

It’s a minor miracle this film even received a theatrical release. (Fox Searchlight)


Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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