Jonah Hill, Marisa Tomei star in resonant film
strikes out again and again. He probably hasn’t dated since Reagan left Washington and has
forgotten what to do. But while relieving himself in the bushes, John discovers
his soul mate, Molly (Marisa Tomei), a woman who shares his love for Human
League synth pop and probably hasn’t dated since the first President Bush.
a fun couple on the hardscrabble edge of the free-lancing middle class. But no
problem, no story. Instead of being half of a couple, Molly can only be
one-third of a triangle with her 21-year-old son, Cyrus (Jonah Hill). And no,
it’s nothing as luridly tacky as incest. Cyrus has grown too big for his boyish
emotional arrestment. Smothered in maternal attention and lacking a paternal
role model, he was never given the encouragement, the kick in the rear, to grow
Cyrus seems cool with mom having a boyfriend, but his passive-aggression is
masterfully keyed to Molly’s emotions and his medicated-looking expression of
calm acceptance conceals an angry smirk. The comedy by writer-directors Jay and
Mark Duplass—often filmed up close and personal as if through the world’s best
cell phone camera—isn’t consistently hilarious, but rather it builds from many
moments of situational (and not far-fetched) humor. Could Molly have been
attracted to John because he suggests an older, less dysfunctional Cyrus?
comical scenario has teeth in a postmodern society where growing up and
independence are often postponed. While some kids flee back home because of the
bad economy, others never seem eager to leave the nest at all. Perhaps it’s the
unsettling feeling that those cozy, secure memories of childhood can never be
replicated? Maybe it’s the realization that adulthood isn’t so hot in a world
of outsourcing, downsizing and social and ethical uncertainty. Or could it be
that some parents just enable their children to remain kids forever?
Cyrus is screening at the Oriental Theatre.