I thought I was returning to the genre of comedy drama, but Cyrus, in my humble opinion, does not qualify. For me, the attempt by Mark and Jay Duplass to label and direct this film as a comedy only detracts from what might have been a much better film if it had been labelled and made as a pure drama. (Walter, since you plan to watch this soon, you can skip the next paragraph if you don’t want to know anything about the film)
John C. Reilly and Marisa Tomei are perfectly cast as John and Molly, two lonely people who find connection and romance. But Molly has a 21-year-old son named Cyrus (played by Jonah Hill, also well-cast) living with her, a young man who was breastfed for years and then home-schooled (frankly, I resent the naive implications in these references) and has become a little too dependent on his mother. Fireworks are therefore guaranteed.
How all this plays itself out feels very raw and very real, with many awkward moments. Stylistically, Cyrus has the look and feel of a quirky independent film (which it is). This should impress me, but it fails to do so. And the low-key scenes which feel so real regularly have a greater dramatic impact than seems warranted. Because the film didn’t work for me as a comedy, I also found myself bored more than once (and Cyrus is a short film), but obviously some people think Cyrus is hilarious, so it may just be a matter of taste.
On the positive side, the acting was top-notch (Catherine Keener was great in a supporting role) and there were more than a few wonderful scenes in Cyrus (the last fifteen minutes alone made the film worth watching). But on the whole I was disappointed with the writing and the filming of this critically-acclaimed comedy drama. *** My mug is up but its contents are not as tasty as I had hoped.