For Your Information: Star Ratings Out Of Five (★★★★★) Stars

Tuesday, May 24, 2011



Can a needy guy share a beautiful woman with her equally needy grown up son? Well, it's gonna be tough; especially if those two vying screwballs are John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill; and that woman is the voluptuous and alluring Marisa Tomei.

Of course from trailers and synopses, Cyrus looks like an Appatow-esque raunch-fest starring an idyllic pairing of two curly haired hell raisers in Reilly (Dewey Cox) and Hill (Superbad). And the premise itself could be a Step Brothers semi-sequel. (Stepson, perhaps.) But this Inde, realist psycho-dramedy only masqueraded as frat boy, lamebrain, cannon-fodder to fill seats, though that is hardly what sells the movie.

The casting of Inde princess Tomei should have been a dead give away that this flick had more on its mind than testicles, drum sets, and amateur bunk bed building. (All the activities!) From the get-go we're introduced to a relationship wounded, self-proclaimed "Shrek" named John (Reilly) who falls for the only girl at a party who gives him the time of day, Molly (Tomei). Before long he meets her creepy-kind, twenty-one-year-old son Cyrus (Hill) who lives at home.

Hill still recalls a live action Eric Cartman, except this time it's not his usual foul mouth that triggers the match, but his manipulative disposition. Cyrus wants mama to himself and moves most passively at breaking up the courtship. (A disappearing pair of Nikes here, an off-hand comment there.) Moreover, the film's sense-of-humor is part of that same design -- odd and absurd as opposed to belly laughs. (If you're the kind of dude that finds Hill standing in a sleeper T-shirt with a glazed over look and a butcher knife funny, then soups on.)

I don't know maybe I'm alone on that. Though the movie's most interesting aspect is its rather insightful meditation on the nature of dependence. We have the son afraid to grow up and the lonely man looking for a reason to be. Molly provides the crutch for both of these emotional cripples, and either would be lost without her. Brothers Jay and Mark Duplass (who wrote and directed) succeed far better with the duo's psycho-analytical duel than they would have with an actual one on the front lawn with rakes and golf clubs (ahem, Will Ferrel).

Cyrus is less for lovers of comedy mania than lovers of comedy that cares. The convenient pairing of Hill and Reilly isn't for raising hell, but winning hearts. Unlike most of its kind, there is a humanist idea at the heart of this comedy partnership.

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