Marisa Tomei and John C. Reilly star in 'Cyrus': movie review
Marisa Tomei and John C. Reilly flex their comedic skills in 'Cyrus.'
Chuck Zlotnick/Fox Searchlight/AP
John C. Reilly has an uncanny gift for making his characters seem simultaneously depressed and lively. In â€śCyrus,â€ť heâ€™s found his archetypal role as John, a sometime editor and layabout who, after seven years, is still reeling from his divorce. (He was dumped.) When he finds out his ex-wife (Catherine Keener) is remarrying, he goes into a tailspin but, in a deus ex machina moment, the woman of his dreams, Molly (Marisa Tomei) comes up to him at a party, and pretty soon theyâ€™re a couple. The catch: Her live-in, 21-year-old son Cyrus (Jonah Hill), Mollyâ€™s best friend and, as soon becomes obvious (though not to Molly), Johnâ€™s worst enemy.
Written and directed by the brothers Jay and Mark Duplass, â€śCyrusâ€ť is a furtive little farce with a deadpan style all its own. Reilly doesnâ€™t go for the obvious laughs. Johnâ€™s ardor for Molly is actually quite touching, which is why, when Cyrus threatens to wreck his elation, heâ€™s both bereft and enraged.
Tomei doesnâ€™t reach for obvious effects, either. Her Molly may be clueless about Cyrusâ€™s inner imp, but sheâ€™s no dingbat. She wants things to work out with John, but she also wants Cyrus to be happy. On some level, she probably does see Cyrus for the relationship-wrecker that he is, but sheâ€™s repressed it.
Hill is so familiar to us from playing mumbly, sweet-souled goofballs, most recently in â€śGet Him to the Greek,â€ť thatâ€™s itâ€™s a bit off-putting to see him playing a tightly wound, beady-eyed creep. But even here, thereâ€™s more than meets the eye and ear. Hill manages to convey Cyrusâ€™s real pain as well as his faked pain.
â€śCyrusâ€ť slows down by the end, and even before then itâ€™s often too mopey for its own good. But thereâ€™s an original comic temperament at work here, and thatâ€™s rare. Grade: B+ (Rated R for language and some sexual material.)
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