Friday, March 4, 2011


I watched Cyrus the other day. Claire picked it up from a RedBox, and I'll say it was worth the dollar.

Cyrus is the first movie penned and directed by Jay Duplass that you might have ever heard of. It helps that it has actors that, you know, have starred in movies with national releases. Cyrus is billed as a romantic comedy of sorts. You'll see names like John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill and think comedy. You'll see a name like Marisa Tomei and think drama. You'll see Catherine Keener and figure she can bridge that gap. The plot goes something like Keener convinces her ex (Reilly) to go to a party. Reilly meets his dream girl (Tomei) but soon realizes Tomei has a twenty-one year old son (Hill) that she is total BFFs with.

The concept is funny, and Hill offers a number of uncomfortably humorous moments. There simply aren't that many funny points, though. It wasn't even really poor delivery, but more a lack of scripted humor. If this starred actors less known for their comedic roles than Reilly and Hill, I would probably not have expected much in the way of humor. As a romantic drama, though, Cyrus lacks much in the way of depth of character and Hill is more awkward than outright funny.

It is in these senses that Cyrus falls flat. It's not funny enough for a comedy or deep enough for a drama. It is as though Duplass took the bad parts of each genre instead of the good. Strangely, though, I found myself enjoying the movie nonetheless. Unfortunately, I can't really qualitatively say why. No one acted particularly well, but they were all fairly decent. Reilly and Hill were silent rivals. Tomei played charmingly well off of them both. Keener also did a decent job in her relationship with Reilly. The script wasn't fantastic - often failing to be properly comedic or dramatic - but it was passable.

This certainly wasn't a great movie, but it was enjoyable enough to pass some time. For a dollar, it was worth a view on a night without much else going on. Don't go out of your way to find it, but if it's on cable when you're trying to fall asleep at three in the morning, well, you could do worse.

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