Cyrus (2010)

[Viennale.]

Cyrus is the newest movie by Mark and Jay Duplass, starring John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill and Catherine Keener.

Plot:
John (John C. Reilly) is in a depressed hole and has been there for quite a while. Maybe even since he split up with Jamie (Catherine Keener), who remains his friend. One night at a party, he meets Molly (Marisa Tomei). They hit it off right away and John falls in love. But Molly has a grown son, Cyrus (Jonah Hill) and neither Molly nor Cyrus seem to be able to let go of each other.

There were quite a few things I appreciated about this film – foremost the acting, but also the way the characters talked to each other – but in the end, it remains yet another story about two guys fighting for the girl where the girl gets no say in the matter. That the two guys are not two lovers but the lover and the son makes hardly any difference. And there are way too many films about this already.

I feel like I should have enjoyed Cyrus more than I did. The cast was amazing. The dialogues – it felt so good to have people actually talk to each other like adult human beings [admittedly, it gets a bit much sometimes]. The way they portrayed John. [Even though he’s a little pathetic, a little clumsy and no matter how much I like John C. Reilly as an actor, an attractive man he is not, you could still see why a beautiful woman like Marisa Tomei would fall in love with him. Though I didn’t completely understand why Jamie would sty friends with him.]

Also, Jonah Hill has impeccable comedic timing. The scenes where Cyrus shows John his music or where he asks him into the kitchen in the middle of the night are absolutely great.

So, why did I end up disappointed by the film? I’m not entirely sure myself. I mean, a big part was surely that I felt annoyed by the story line. Another thing was that my “this is no laughing matter” bells rang a couple of times [was the stalking and the laughing-away-of-it really necessary?]. And how the hell do I always end up in mumblecore movies? I know that I don’t like them, dammit. [I blame Catherine Keener.] It might also be that Cyrus had all the markings of an indie comedy, without ever really making me laugh aloud.

Whatever the reasons, Cyrus fell flat and left a stale taste in my mouth. Definitely could have gone better.

Summarising: If you like mumblecore films, you’re probably going to like this one better than I did. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

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