D/W: Jay & Mark Duplass DP: Jas Shelton. Starring: John C. Reilly/Marisa Tomei/Jonah Hill/Catherine Keener/Tim Walsh.
First appearing at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Cyrus is a great example of how wonderful independent films are and why Fox Searchlight should stick to what they do best. Giving studio audiences and more cities a chance to see a story like this one.
Cyrus is ultimately a story about evolution, letting go, opening up while growing up. Set in Los Angeles, the film comfortably aligns itself with Reilly’s John who finds himself facing his ex-wife’s upcoming wedding after seven years of foggy post-divorce depression. So what does he do to break the melancholy? Get drunk. But, luckily for him, he gets boozing and happens on darling Molly played by Tomei. And although Reilly might not believe it, their connection is warm, real, and, well, just adorable. But of course nothing is as easy as it seems.
The catch to Tomei’s Molly is her twenty-two year old some Cryus (Hill) who still lives at home and clearly has separation issues. It is refreshing to see Hill outside of his comedy comfort zone, although he gives way to his usual delivery of dialogue at moments. Of course, Hill’s Cyrus is anything, but normal. Yet at least Hill underplays his role and gives Cyrus true creepiness with his subtly. Which allows smaller details and moments of the film to shine either humorously or dramatically. The trio makes a funny group as Reilly and Tomei actually look like they could have both been Hill’s parents. Especially as Tomei lets her natural curls nestle against her head, giving Molly an even greater charm and free spirited look.
As the story progresses and the relationship between Reilly and Tomei is strained it is clear that the Duplass brothers wanted this film to be about more than falling in love or finding love. Like I said before, the film digs deep into the psyche of letting go of people we love and accepting that life sometimes evolves in a way that dictates changes in our relationships. With both the parent/child relationship and the romantic ones (girlfriend/ex-wife), audiences will find that Cyrus asks us to recognizes happiness, but also learn how love and happiness must be allowed to change. And thankfully the Duplass brothers give audiences a realism to their story and film that won’t be soon forgotten.