Enjoyable indie comedy-drama starring John C. Reily as John Kilpatrick, an oddball hapless divorcee still broken up by his wife’s absence 7 years later. Strong-armed by his concerned ex-wife into attending a party, he fails miserably to hold a conversation with anyone, so sensibly decides to get hideously drunk and have some fun, and in doing so meets the equally curious Molly (Melisa Tomei). Beginning a slightly awkward relationship John feels his life is finally starting to go somewhere - that is until he meets Cyrus (Jonah Hill), Molly’s affable but weirdly intense 21-year-old son. Despite initial warnings, John is so smitten with Molly that he perseveres with the relationship, but as the days wear on, her relationship with Cyrus begins to look increasingly strange.
The three central performances are what make ‘Cyrus’ so enjoyable - wonderfully natural and offbeat and allowing all the humour to flow from the characters themselves. Hill is exceptionally good in the titular role, emanating a naive boyish awkwardness, tinged with a genuinely eerie streak of Norman Bates. This is a lightweight, disposable film but this constant dark presence below the surface makes it more captivating and unpredictable – still wholly sweet-natured, but counteracted with a little blackness that ties it together perfectly. It’s an effortless watch, paced and constructed expertly, and other than the irritating delicate ‘indie movie music’ it doesn’t really put a foot wrong.
‘Cyrus’ is a peculiar little film with a tone that comes close to realism but a subverted deranged version of it. As a result the emotional resonance isn’t all it might be as it’s hard to identify meaningfully with anyone, but the experience is a consistently funny and uplifting one with a few touches of pathos. It doesn’t live long in the memory, but offers 91 pleasurable minutes – funny and touching but not outstaying its welcome.
[ 2010 — Dir: Jay Duplass & Mark Duplass — 91 mins — 15 cert — IMDb ]
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