John C. Reilly is familiar with the “man-child” concept. In the hysterically funny Step Brothers, John was an overly immature “man-child”. Now, in his newest movie Cyrus, John is on the other side of the fence and he has to deal with a “man-child”.
Cyrus is written and directed by independent filmmakers, Jay and Mark Duplass. The cast also includes the sultry-voiced Marisa Tomei and rising star Jonah Hill (Superbad).
John’s (Reilly) life has been in a rut every since he became divorced from his wife Jamie (Catherine Keener, The 40 Year Old Virgin) seven years ago. Now, Jamie is getting remarried and she thinks its time for John to move on with his life.
John reluctantly does so and eventually meets the lovely Molly (Tomei). They hit it off quickly and look like a perfect match, but there is just one thing that may interfere with their happiness.
Molly’s 200+ pound “man-child” son, Cyrus (Hill). Molly and Cyrus’s relationship seems a little peculiar at times and John should be weary of Cyrus’s overly friendly personality.
I was a little skeptical of the pairing of John C. Reilly and Marisa Tomei together in a romantic comedy. I think the Duplass brothers must have known that too because when John meets Molly for the first time, John says ” I look like Shrek” as he is surprised that someone as attractive-looking as Molly would be interested in him.
While the pairing may seem odd, Reilly and Tomei do have good chemistry. They do make a believable couple. Reilly has no problem playing the big loveable lug and Tomei is equally sweet as the overly nurturing mom.
I thought with John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill both being in this movie, there would be a lot of laughs, but there wasn’t. John and Cyrus had one or two decent back and forth moments, but the surplus of laughs that I was expecting never happened.
The Duplass brothers instead decide to keep the tone of the movie a little more serious exploring the relationship between a mom, her overly-close son and mom’s new boyfriend. I would have prefered more comedy and a lot less drama.
There were times when I felt a lot like John. I was wondering, “What the heck is going on????” You are never really sure if Cyrus is as nice as he seems or if he is hiding something up his sleeve. Jonah Hill does a nice job of keeping us guessing.
While Cyrus fails to produce an abundance of laughs, the performances of its three stars help save it from being a huge disappointment.
Cyrus is available on DVD Tuesday, December 14th.