If I ever made any comments about being over Jonah Hill, I take them all back after watching CYRUS. Going into this film from writer/directors Jay and Mark Duplass I expected something different. The trailer made me presume that there would be plenty of laughs. This film digs deeper into the dark comedy and scratches the surface into something that feels more real.
CYRUS starts off as familiar tale. John (John C. Reilly) hasn’t been able to pick up his life since the divorce with his wife Jamie (Catherine Keener) seven years ago. To make things worse, Jamie tells John that she is getting remarried. One would think that this would drive a man over the edge but it doesn’t. John at first is broken up about it but Jamie tells him that it’s time to get out there and find the right woman. She then invites him to an awesome party and he reluctantly agrees to show up. At the adult hipster party, John tries to connect with several women. Sadly, he never makes a connection until going outside to whiz in some shrubbery. It’s at this exact moment that he meets the beautiful Molly (Marisa Tomei) who is casual and cool about the situation. She sees tenderness in the drunken charm of a sad “Shrek”, as John described himself. An unlikely pairing, the two hit it off in a really big way.
Situations like these are hardly ever perfect though. After dates that lead to a little sexy bedroom time, Molly is often leaving in the middle of the night. When John questions her, Molly is not straightforward. All she replies with is simply, “I just need to go”. So what’s the problem? Molly has a 21-year-old son who still lives at home. While this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, his behavior is. When we first meet Cyrus (Jonah Hill), there’s a screw that’s noticeably loose. You can nearly see right through the fake sincerity that Cyrus doles out. He also has a really odd sense of humor when he says something honest then covers it up pretending like it’s a joke. It really isn’t. The weirdest part about Cyrus other than his awkward attachment to his mother is the blank stare he gives while playing his electronic music. I felt like he was staring straight through me, silently judging my soul. Needless to say, there’s no room for John. Cyrus has spent the majority of his life with Molly as his best friend and intends to keep it that way.
I don’t know exactly why CYRUS didn’t score so well with audiences. Perhaps it had to do with the way the film was marketed, or maybe the lack of. Either way, word of mouth will have to spread the goodness of this film like wildfire. I hear a lot of people wondering when John C. Reilly will get back to a more serious role and this is it right here. It’s not all straight faced but Reilly shows that he can play both sides of the coin pretty well. His sincerity is what makes you love his character. You never once wonder, “Why is that hot woman with him?”. Reilly makes his character believable in every aspect. Tomei plays into this dynamic as the woman who falls for John. Molly is the type of girl that every guy wants. Well, aside from that 21-year-old piece of baggage. It’s also hard to not notice how stunningly beautiful that Tomei still is after all these years. I was so jealous. The biggest surprise here though is Hill. The actor has played basically one role since he arrived in Hollywood. While that works for him most of the time, it’s been overdue for Hill to branch out. Not to sound cliché but he shoots and scores. Hill owns this character and pulls it off without making it hokey and unrealistic.
CYRUS is a pleasant surprise with the current remake trend hitting the movie world. While the story may not be groundbreaking, it does have a lot of heart. It also helps that the cast chosen for the film is perfect. CYRUS leaves you feeling that maybe there’s hope to be found in any situation. Life won’t fit into a simple little box. It causes us to color outside the lines, but honestly we’re just happy to color.
Video(1.85:1 Widescreen) : The indie feel of the film caps at a certain quality. It’s still a good quality, just don’t go into it expecting something pristine.
Audio (5.1 DTS-HD): I never had any issues with the audio. It’s not big blockbuster surround stuff. This is the kind of audio quality you’d expect with a normal dvd which isn’t bad.
Deleted Scenes (8:00): There are only two scenes here. There are also optional introductions for each clip from the Duplass brothers. The scenes are good, just the typical “know why they left that out” scenario.
Music Mash-Up with John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill (3:39): I remember seeing this on the internet before the movie came out. It made me laugh so hard. Very awkward.
Behind the Scenes at SXSW with Jay & Mark Duplass (3:18): I think I also saw something like this on the internet as well. Basically just a camera following the guys around at SXSW. You could skip it and it would be okay.
Q&A with Directors/Writers Jay & Mark Duplass (8:16): This is sort of adorable. The brothers Duplass are trying to field questions and answers but their daughters keep interrupting.
Fox Movie Channel presents: In character with John C. Reilly (3:15): Pretty self-explanatory. Reilly just talks about his character and the film in a short interview.
Fox Movie Channel presents: In character with Jonah Hill (3:15): Same as the above.