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CYRUS (directors/writers: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass; cinematographer: Jas Shelton; editor: Jay Deuby; music: Michael Andrews; cast: John C. Reilly (John), Jonah Hill (Cyrus), Marisa Tomei (Molly), Catherine Keener (Jamie), Matt Walsh (Tim); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Michael Costigan; Fox Searchlight Pictures; 2010)
Lacks energy and seems more creepy than funny.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A slacker romcom written and directed by the brothers Jay and Mark Duplass (“Baghead”/”The Puffy Chair”), that never picks up momentum and becomes a slow slog to nowhere.

Middle-aged freelance editor John (John C. Reilly) is a depressed loser, who has been in a tailspin ever since his professional together wife Jamie (Catherine Keener) divorced him seven years ago. Jamie, who remains friends with her ex, is set to marry the bland Tim (Matt Walsh). The couple convince the schlub to accompany them to a cool LA party and meet some women. At the party John meets the hot looking sweetie Molly (Marisa Tomei), and they have sex. Things go well, since she digs that John is so open and he’s crazy about her. Problem arises when John discovers Molly is a single parent with a 21-year-old overweight, overbearing, idler son named Cyrus (Jonah Hill). The wannabe unemployed musician, with an unnatural attachment to mommy, schemes to break up the relationship by acting sincere and friendly but underhandedly he undermines the relationship by telling lies because of his oedipal issues.

The loosely associated with mumblecore filmmakers venture into mainstream territory with this commercial pic, one that fails to improve with better actors and production values. It stubs its toe because it lacks energy and seems more creepy than funny. Its perverse sitcom doings never bring out much that’s more than mildly interesting, though it raises questions about the strong women stuck with weak men. It seems to be asking if the weak parasite men can only bring down any relationship. But the script is too limp and undeveloped to do anything with the questions raised.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”