Flash Movie Review: Cyrus

My college sociology professor used the term “Holy Deadlock” to describe a couple who stayed together for the wrong reasons. An example would be staying together for the children’s sake. This instructor claimed using children as an excuse to stay together did more harm than good. I have seen fighting couples use their kids as a way to attack or manipulate their significant other and it was awful to see. At that point the adult was no longer the parent, they were simply a conspirator. On the other hand, there are divorcing parents who act out in a different direction. They give in to the child’s every whim, hoping to make up for the failed relationship. Here, too, the adult is less of a parent as the child quickly learns the art of manipulation. In this comedy Cyrus, played by Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street, The Watch), was a master of manipulation. When his mother Molly, played by Marisa Tomei (The Lincoln Lawyer, The Wrestler), began  to date John, played by John C. Reilly (Carnage, We Need to Talk About Kevin), Cyrus thought it would be easy to eliminate John from his mother’s life. He would discover the task at hand was easier said than done. What helped this story was the strong acting from the cast. I have enjoyed most of Marisa’s roles in the past and found her rock solid in playing Molly. In addition, playing John’s ex wife Jamie, Catherine Keener (Into the Wild, A Late Quartet) beautifully played off of John C. Reilly’s character. The fundamental elements of this story were sound; I only wished the writers would have added some punch. There was an easy predictability to several scenes. It takes effort to make a marriage work; it takes extra work to make a divorce successful for all involved parties.

 

2 2/3 stars — DVD

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About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on January 29, 2013, in Dramedy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. your review is 100% correct.
    the big question: what happened to the punch ?
    all of the characters get a 10 in acting ability.
    great acting !
    little to no punch !
    john c reilly opens the movie with a backside view and
    if you go to slow mode when he rolls over you get
    to see more.

  2. Up there with Moneyball as one of my favourite Jonah Hill performances.

  3. Love your blog!

    I enjoyed the pace of “Cyrus”. There was an obvious chemistry and familiarity between Tomei, Reilly and Hill. I think they pulled off a believable story with grace and humor.

    This type of domestic interplay warrants thoughtful attention to the subtle emotional signals from one character to another. I think it’s brave nowadays for filmmakers to create dialogue-driven stories that do not deliver the anticipated “punch”, but gently meander to an open end where one is left to interpret for themselves.

    “Cyrus”, in this viewers opinion, is understated brilliance.

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