Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Summary: John (John C. Reilly) is a man who is lost. Seven years after his divorce from his ex-wife Jamie (Catherine Keener) he cannot seem to move on with his life especially since she is now getting remarried. In hopes to get John out of his depression she demands that he come to her engagement party in order to meet new people and more importantly women. While at the party John meets Molly (Marisa Tomei), who is as beautiful as they come, in the most unconventional and embarrassing way. Instantly, John and Molly hit it off. However, Molly keeps John at a distance. John discovers, through his stalking abilities, that Molly has a 22 year-old son Cyrus (Jonah Hill) who still lives at home. John must now deal with Cyrus and his childlike games in hopes to fully attain the woman of his dreams.

Plot (A-): There’s one disadvantage to independent movies that has always bothered me. More often then not the stories/scripts are way better then traditional mainstream films but because it’s an indie flick a minority end up seeing it. As for me, I saw a preview to this film months ago and I couldn’t wait to see it. Cyrus is an excellent movie with a superb plotline. It touches the heart and soul by showing there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Furthermore, it promotes the theory that there is someone for everyone and that person will come when you least expect it. While this movie is considered a comedy I would say it’s a comedy with serious emotional moments. You won’t cry out of sadness or laughter but the film is deep. Not only does it focus on the love and relationship between a man and woman but also of a mother and son. If you see this film take notice of the two different 3rd wheel scenarios going on. John plays the third wheel to his ex-wife and her finance Tim (Matt Walsh). John also shares the 3rd wheel role with Cyrus in the relationship with Molly. John is not the most important person in anyone’s life but he is desperately trying to be but it’s hard for him to recognize that his constant presence isn’t always welcomed by Cyrus and Tim.

Action: N/A

Acting & Dialogue (A-): As always John C. Reilly is on top of his game. His combination of comedic and dramatic acting is very refreshing. This is something that I have always liked about Reilly. He plays the comedic roles so effortlessly such as in Step-Brothers while at the same time he can be so intense and diverse like in Gangs of New York. Like I said, this is a comedy and there are very funny parts to the entire film but don’t expect Step-Brothers. Reilly wonderfully shows viewers John’s evolution as the story unfolds. By the end of the film we see who John really is on the inside. (Before I continue if you read The Marine review then you know my feelings about actors playing characters of the same name. I take that back in regards to good/great actors such as Reilly. When someone like him does it I don’t mind at all. As for shitty actors screw ‘em!) Marisa Tomei is also excellent in this film and lets be honest when isn’t she. Tomei plays Molly as semi-tamed wild child who likes to have fun and wants to be with John but is overly attached to her son. I interpreted her crazy hairstyle as a metaphor for the un-normal life she lives but at the same time it’s who she is and she accepts it. As for Jonah Hill, his performance was very uplifting. As much as I enjoy watching him in Super-Bad and Forgetting Sarah Marshall I thoroughly liked what I saw in Cyrus. Hill plays Cyrus with a unique sense of humor, and I mean unique, but he depicts him as vastly more mature than people his age. Even though he's mature for his age he’s constantly fucking with John in so many weird ways that you start to wonder if that’s part of his personality or just his attempts to get rid of him. The relationship between Molly and Cyrus is slightly weird to say the least. They act more like best friends and roommates rather than mother and son. Cyrus doesn’t even call her mom but instead refers to her as Molly. It is clearly evident that he has some sexual infatuation with her that may border on an Oedipus complex. However, even though Cyrus is so weird and fully aware of his shortcomings he loves his mother to death and only wants to see her happy. Catherine Keener was pleasurable addition to the film. Her scenes were few but she fully dominated them. Her character wanted nothing more then to see John happy and as his best friend she goes above and beyond what is expected of her. Overall, there is one common theme that links the three main characters together and that’s evolution. John, Molly, and Cyrus are all different people at the end of the story. They each grow and learn from one another, which is something that never would have happened if their paths didn’t cross.

Sex Appeal: N/A- The opening scene is hysterical.

Director (A): Brothers Jay and Mark Duplass co-directed Cyrus. I’ve never heard of these guys before or seen their movies, which goes back to what I said about indie movies. With that said, they did a great job by creating an unconventional comedy. Not only did they co-direct the film but they also wrote it.

Overall: A-

(Anyone who is interested in this movie you can see it either in NYC or in Montclair. I highly suggest seeing this film.)


  1. Hi Jon- I agree with your synopsis of the movie. The character, John, does appear to be a third wheeler all around. However, his ex-wife's new husband appears to get the shortest end of the stick because he has done nothing to deserve someone bogarting his wife's time. Perhaps, for John, this is a case of karma biting him in the ass- without him even realizing it. Since he is distracting his ex-wife from carrying on an uncomplicated relationship with her new husband, karma has played a role in tamporing with his own romantic endeavors.

  2. You're totally right about the new husband Colleen. I felt bad for him because he really loved her and was willing to put up with that relationship. Very insightful thoughts about John and his karma too. I didn't think of that. Nice!!!

  3. Saw this movie over the weekend. Totally agree with you on the "3rd wheel" scenarios and thought you were dead on with that. Also, it definitely wasn't a comedy. Pretty good movie but I would give it more of a B/B+ grade. Would never have known about this flick had it not been for your review so thank you. Also, since when did Colleen become so cultured?

  4. Hahahahaha I know she was so eloquent with her words I was like, "Who is this?" Although this movie is classified as a comedy because its certainly not a drama I would definitely say its a semi-or loose comedy. That's thing the with Indie films. They go for a different approach that's more artistic which is different than your mainstream comedic films such as The Hangover or Super-Bad etc. You're welcome for the review and I appreciate the kind words as well, thanks.