“Cyrus” Never Grows Up
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
What is it with these kids that never grow up? They are becoming a common movie theme.
I’m not talk about the Peter Pan Syndrome, so artfully depicted in the “Seinfeld” TV show. Nor am I talking about those man-child portrayals by Adam Sandler and Will Farrell. Or Steve Martin in “The Jerk.”
I’m referring to those mama’s boys who’ll likely turn out to be Norman Bates if they continue to be smothered by material affection.
In “Grown Ups,” the still-nursing 4-year-old is one in the making. And Will Farrell and John C. Reilly are grown-up versions in “Step Brothers,” a couple of 40-year-olds who have never left home, sickos unnaturally attached to their respective parents.
Now we have “Cyrus.” John C. Reilly again, but this time he plays the inept suitor to Marisa Tomei, a single mother with a too-close relationship with her 21-year-old son.
Jonah Hill (you recently saw him in “Get Him to the Greek”) is that over-protective son, at odds with this intruder who is wooing his mom.
One blogger agreed with me. He wrote, “Hello, this is exactly like ‘Step Brothers.’ Okay, not exactly like, but it’s similar. I’m surprised no one is making that connection, especially with John C. Reilly in it.”
Twenty-eight other bloggers responded sarcastically that he obviously hadn’t seen the film (neither had they) and ranted, “I haven’t seen it but it reminds me of ‘Piranha Part Two: The Spawning.’” Or “I haven’t seen it but it reminds me of ‘Nosferatu.’” Or even “I got flashbacks of ‘The Remains of the Day.’ Weeeird!”
Finally someone sensibly replied, “I did see it and it reminded me that gorgeous women are lonely and attracted to goofy palookas only in the movies.” Amen.
Why would a beauty like Molly (Tomei) fall for a loser like John (Reilly)? And why would an obsessive offspring like Cyrus (Hill) not be under a shrink’s intensive care?
Oh yes, I forgot. This is a comedy.
“Cyrus” was directed by Mark and Jay Duplass. If you’ve followed the ascendance of these brothers from their early no-budget films to their breakout low-budget Sundance hit “Puffy Chair” and the follow-up winner “Baghead,” then you will want to see “Cyrus.”
These freewheeling indie flicks make up what’s become known as the Mumblecore Movement. It’s characterized by an ultra-low budget production (often employing digital video cameras), focus on personal relationships between twentysomethings, improvised scripts, and non-professional actors.
Film critics have also used the terms “Bedhead Cinema” (after the Duplass’s film) and “Slackavetes” (referring both to director John Cassavetes and Richard Linklater’s dialogue heavy film “Slacker”).
So is “Cyrus” a Mumblecore film?
Not really. Better production values, bigger budget, real stars, even a script.
“Cyrus is currently playing at the Tropic Cinema.
If you like Judd Apatow comedies, this is close enough in tone to appeal to you. Besides, Jonah Hill is an Apatow regular, having appeared in “Superbad,” “Knocked Up,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and the aforementioned “Greek” trip. And as weeeird as “Cyrus” is, it will grow on you.
[from Solares Hill]