CYRUS Home Video Review

'Cyrus' is an odd but pleasing little feature. Instantly, being a fan of the kind of comedy troupe the two leads in this are a part of I was attracted to the smaller indie-type film that would in fact attract them to make it. John C. Reilly has always been an actor of many dimensions, it was not until his unexpected but amazing turn in 'Talladega Nights' that is was made truly clear what a great comedic actor he was. Here, Reilly puts both his dramatic and comedic chops to work and they result in the ultimate contest of awkwardness. The film is shot with a simple intimacy and its premise serves this well. Reilly plays a loner guy named John who becomes even more sad and depressed when his ex-wife informs him she is getting re-married. In doing so, John is lured to a party where he meets the lovely Molly played by Marisa Tomei. It is clear that Molly is clearly out of John;s league but after hearing and raw and heartfelt speech to another party goer it is easy to see why she is so attracted to them. In any other film the mis matching of such opposites would certainly detract from the film, but here Reilly and Tomei make such a cute and believable middle-aged couple just trying to get on with their lives. This is all fine and well and was making for an interesting study of single folks in their first relationships since the ones they thought would define their lives. Then comes in Molly's son, Cyrus, and things begin to get weird. From the beginning we see the intensity in Jonah Hill's eyes. We see the wheels spinning the moment he meets John for the first time and their relationship and how it develops is what makes this film stand on its own. Cyrus is a disturbed young man, all he has is his mother whom he shares his music and his art with. When he sees the threat that John is, he immediately begins a game that delves deep into John's psyche and messes with him more than he could have ever imagined. The chemistry between Reilly and Hill is a highlight, there back and forth when Molly isn't around is priceless and the build up to where Cyrus finally cracks makes for one of the most heartbreaking moments while at the same time being both comically entertaining. It doesn't seem to make sense, but the Duplass brothers capture a tone that relates the tone of life into their film. They catch the sadness of being alone, of wanting to have a simple relationship where you can count on that person, but what John is looking for only becomes amplified by the fact that it becomes more distant because of Cyrus. The Duplass' make us feel sorry for Cyrus, they let us into his small world and reveal his pain but they never push out the fact that John is in just as much pain and deserves to be with Molly just as much if not more than Cyrus does. As the tensions between John and Cyrus grow, things only become funnier as well as becoming more and more undercut with awkward tension. There is only one thing that stops the film from crossing into the completely absurd and that is the natural tone of the film. It is simply real and you finish the film with a smile on your face. It isn't a story of romance, but it is one of love. It is different, and I loved how it approached its topic with such intimacy. Without it, this would have been nothing more than a laugh out loud comedy. This is so much more than that, and I'm happy to see Reilly branching out and using both his skills and for Hill to simply be getting out of his comfort zone. I hope they continue to work and Hill continues to experiment.