Cyrus (2010)

Cyrus (2010) — I never really thought about Jonah Hill’s potential to play a creepy fucked-up freak, but the potential was there and it has now been realized. John C. Reilly seems to switch between critically-beloved indie movies and commercial comedies. He seems to be walking that line here as John, a socially backwards divorcé. The film could have just wallowed in how pathetic John’s life was but instead they quickly establish that he is actually a likable person potentially with something to offer. Early on he finds someone to offer that something to in Molly (Marisa Tomei). She’s hot (again, Tomei) and actually connects with him. The problem is (this is all very redundant for anyone who saw the trailer but fuck it, it’s my review) she never really cut the cord [figuratively] with her 21-year-old son Cyrus (Hill). While it never crosses the line into Oedipus territory, Molly and Cyrus are way closer than a mother and son should be and John rightfully gets weirded the fuck out by this. The movie becomes a battle of wills beneath the manipulatively passive aggressive Cyrus and John, who will do anything to hang on to the relationship and no go back to being alone. Really this movie is about damaged people. Nothing is particularly one-note about the movie. Even the titular antagonist does what he does because of some serious problems, not just to be a dick. While the movie doesn’t explore the deep psychological motivations of every character, it’s nice to see a comedy where the characters are more than surface-deep caricatures. The laughs in Cyrus come hand-in-hand with cringes and if you don’t like uncomfortable situations in your comedy you should probably steer clear of this one, but I enjoyed this weird little movie.

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