Dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his widowed mother, slacker Jeff might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends the day with his unhappily married brother as he tracks his possibly adulterous wife.
4 "actors" go to a cabin in the woods for the weekend to write a movie script. They talk about a relationship movie or a paper bag over the head movie. It starts with an anonymous baghead and slowly escalates.
Tim Lippe has no idea what he's in for when he's sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at an annual insurance convention, where he soon finds himself under the "guidance" of three convention veterans.
Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective is recruited to close the case.
With John's social life at a standstill and his ex-wife about to get remarried, a down on his luck divorcé finally meets the woman of his dreams, only to discover she has another man in her life - her son. Still single seven years after the breakup of his marriage, John has all but given up on romance. But at the urging of his ex-wife and best friend Jamie, John grudgingly agrees to join her and her fiancé Tim at a party. To his and everyone else's surprise, he actually manages to meet someone: the gorgeous and spirited Molly. Their chemistry is immediate. The relationship takes off quickly but Molly is oddly reluctant to take the relationship beyond John's house. Perplexed, he follows her home and discovers the other man in Molly's life: her son, Cyrus. A 21-year-old new age musician, Cyrus is his mom's best friend and shares an unconventional relationship with her. Cyrus will go to any lengths to protect Molly and is definitely not ready to share her with anyone, especially John. ...Written by
Walking down Henry Street on a Saturday afternoon, a particular type of teenager can be spotted. They shuffle from shop to shop, overweight, insecure and accompanied by their Mammy. We now have a name for them; Cyrus.
Sad sack John (John C. Reilly) has never really gotten over his ex wife. His dependency on her, seven years after their divorce, is still obvious, so he decides its time to start looking for someone new. The fact that he has a face thats a cross between Beethoven and Shrek doesn't really help his chances but, against the odds, he manages to find the beautiful Molly (Marisa Tomei). All goes swimmingly at first, until John meets Cyrus. Mollys 20-year-old unemployed son Cyrus is morbidly obese and morbidly dependant on her. Their relationship is a little, shall we say, a little Oedipal. Scrap that, a lot Oedipal. Obviously Cyrus isn't going to take to well to his 'new Dad' but what follows is a subtle masterclass in passive aggressive one-up-manship.
In the wrong hands Cyrus could have been 90 minutes of breast feeding gags and a series of Jackass-style pranks. Luckily for us we are dealing with Jay and Mark Duplass, the golden boys of 'Mumblecore'. For those unfamiliar with the sub genre, 'Mumblecore' refers to a film movement which came out of North America at the turn of the millennium. The films are all made on micro budgets, focus on the relationships of twenty-somethings and rely on improvisation. Basically they are the bastard children of Slackers and Woody Allen's Manhattan.This is the first outing for the Duplass brothers with a reasonable budget and some well known faces. Thankfully they've retained their indie cinema sensibilties and understand the elements that made their early work enjoyable. The dialogue is still mainly improvised and the camera work is still mostly hand-held and makes use of a lot of snap-zoom. Cyrus has been marketed as a comedy and there are laughs scattered throughout, the humour however is closer to the Coen brothers than Judd Apatow. However it's the dramatic elements of the narrative that really give the cast something to get their teeth into. John C. Reilly here echoes his performance in Paul T. Anderson's Magnolia. Both characters are essentially losers, but there's something undeniably likable and sweet about them. Jonah Hill as the titular character really impresses. Fears that he would forever be typecast as a ranty, horny chubby funster are alleviated. He knows how to take a scene forward, he knows when to be serious and most importantly he knows that subtlety can often be far funnier than farce.
Many many people will hate Cyrus and I can see why, the camera work is distracting at times, the subject matter is often dark and the laughs are few and far between. These people probably went in expecting Superbad mixed with some of the fart gags from Step Brothers. For me though, this marks the start of something big for Jay and Mark Duplass.
19 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this