Friday, March 18, 2011

Cyrus. B-

I like John C. Reilly in dramatic roles because he always seems to play a character who is honest with himself and honest with others. He's an ideal common man, never full of himself and always trying to do what's best for the people he cares about. He's also flawed, aware of it, and not afraid to hide it. Cyrus is a perfect film for Reilly, and an unusual one for Jonah Hill, who plays the movie's title character. Reilly plays John, a lonely middle class American who meets Molly, who seems to be the ideal woman for him. Their affection for each other is mutual, but Molly hides the fact that living with her is her 21 year old son Cyrus, an awkward child-like musician who was homeschooled, got his GED, and isn't about to make plans to get his own life. You can sort of get the picture, as once John intrudes a game of jealousy begins that gets much nastier than you might expect. Cyrus is not crucial in any way, and also not as funny as it should be. It comes across a little stilted because it seems to want to be funny, but doesn't know how to be. The good news is that the drama works, allowing for some fairly strong messages about letting go seep in without getting too sentimental. When you're watching it, take note of how the movie was shot. Lots of handheld camera movements and zooming in and out. More annoying than effective, right? Like most indie dramedies, this one is fairly dispensable. But if you're in the mood, and usually you know when you are, it's worth picking.

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