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IN SHORT: Funny funny funny until the very last cut . . . [Rated R for language and some sexual material. ]
Yeah, there's a catch coming. A couple of paragraphs down.
For a significant part of the audience, middle age sucks. Statistically, a good percentage of people hit their midlife crisis on the wrong side of a divorce -- which is the case when we first meet unhappy John (John C. Reilly), who still pines for the wife (Catherine Keener) that hasn't been his for close to a decade. As the film Cyrus begins, it is evident that wifey number one has put John way in her past. But then Molly (Marisa Tomei) comes into his life, his apartment and the bed within and all seems good with the world.
Except that Molly won't stay the entire night. That's to be expected from a one night stand, but there is nothing about the developing relationship to indicate that one night was going to be the limit. So John follows Molly home one night and, wouldn't you know it, discovers the other man in her life. A son named Cyrus.
Now, those of parenting age know the possessive nature of children. They'll climb into your bed. They'll follow you around all day and night. They're totally possessive when strangers get in the way of their parental relationship, which is why it takes nine months to make a baby. It takes time to train the first born not to want to kill the newcomer to his or her realm <vbg>.
The big exception in t his case is that Cyrus (Jonah Hill) is twenty-one going on twenty-two years of age. That he doesn't exactly want to share his mother isn't exactly clear at first. What that battle becomes, strangely enough, is a rip roaring comedy. Cyrus' possessive tactics range from some physical things that should be down right creepy, As the relationship between John and Molly grows, Cyrus gets intellectually diabolical in his attempts to stay top dog in the "relationship." While that could indicate a really nasty piece of emotional warfare, the story is not the Oedipal wreck it could be. It sways more towards t he goofy coming of age story, for a boy who should have come of age years earlier.
That doesn't mean we're going to tell you who wins out. It does mean that we will tell you that the audience we sat with let out an audible groan at how the brothers Duplass chose to end their film. We will point out that Cyrus was one of t he big winners at the Sundance film festival, essentially a the equivalent of a debutante's ball for film makers. Their inexperience shows in what we will only call a technical misstep equivalent to shooting one's self in the foot.
Then again, it could also mean that the audience wasn't ready to let go of the story of Cyrus. We don't think so. The script ties most of the story up with a colored bow. That was good enough for us.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Cyrus, he would have paid . . .
Cyrus is played for laughs, and delivers.
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