Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cyrus- He said

Romantic comedies are ones those genres that make me groan continuously, and most of the time, they all hit the same beats at around the exact same time mark, and it gets rather tiresome. I honestly believe that one of the best ones from the last few years is (500) Days Of Summer and Ten Things I Hate About You; the former showed a different aspect and broke the mold, while the latter did the familiar formula in almost the best way it could. With Cyrus, the ever-hyped Duplass Brothers, directors of “mumblecore” hits like The Puffy Chair and Humpday, try to make their most mainstream effort of their career. Cyrus is the story of John, played by John C. Reilly, who has gone through a rough seven years since his divorce and is trying to get out in the game again. He meets the gorgeous Molly, played by Marissa Tomei, and the obligatory sparks fly. As the story progresses, John meets Molly’s son, Cyrus, played by Jonah Hill, as the epitome of a momma’s boy, who still lives at home and as we see, he feels threatened by John’s presence.

I had heard a ton of hype from both the Duplass Brothers and this movie from friends that had seen it, so my anticipation was very high. I admit I have not seen their former efforts, nor am I familiar to their style, so this might be a factor in me saying that while I enjoyed it, it was a bit over hyped and kind of disappointing. Let me say, there is nothing too terribly wrong with this movie, and it has a lot of really great points (mostly those relating to the actors). Out of the gate, Jonah Hill “wins” this movie; his acting here is so subtle and subdued that it solidifies his place as future dramatic actor. His Cyrus character says so much with just certain looks, the way he moves, and how he talks to people. The more and more I thought about, the more impressed I was. John C. Reilly was also quite fantastic although not nearly as impressive. Although, if he doesn’t stop playing sad dudes by the next movie he does, he’s going to start repeating himself Michael Cera-style. Since this was a fancy Dallas Film Society screening, we were able to see Mr. Jay Duplass, where he explained their loose style of shooting, and I feel this is a great asset of the film that lends a loose and organic feel to the movie. And the movie’s plot does take some unexpected turns from how I figured it would go if this were a bad rom-com.

Now, here’s the big problem with it, it can be a bit boring. I read up on the Duplass Brothers after seeing the movie, but have not had a chance to see their earlier work. I understand they like to straddle the line between uncomfortable and hilarious, and that’s never a problem in this movie, but instead there’s quite a few parts of this movie where it it’s truly slow. I kept on looking at Jonesy wondering if she thought the same. Since they use a few of the many beats that many rom-coms do, you can see what’s going to happen for a lot, but not all, of the movie, which adds to the boring parts. The other complaint, and I will not take credit this one to myself, from the amazing Gwen Reyes from NerdyPerv.com, she made the interesting point that Molly is a bit of a pushover, and she lets her fate being completely controlled by these two men, which she has what I believe are slightly messed up relationships with.

Overall, I didn’t find much to enjoy about this movie, as I feel that people seem to like the “idea” of the movie more than the movie itself. As an advocator of any and all talented people coming up through this rough Hollywood system, I want to like their efforts, but I think it’s just more hype than anything. The movie proved to be boring at way too many parts for me to recommend this to anyone, with the biggest highlight being Jonah Hill’s performance. As hype becomes a bigger and bigger factor in the movie world, I have to tell you don’t give in to it.

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