Friday, Dec. 17, 2010

My Name is Cyrus

By David Luhrssen
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When the socially maladroit John (John C. Reilly) meets Molly (Marisa Tomei) while peeing in the bushes at a party he was reluctant to attend, sparks erupt between the lonely adults. Gradually, John becomes aware that Molly has a secret—there is a third party in her “complicated” life. Molly’s live-at-home son, Cyrus (Jonah Hill), an emotionally undeveloped but otherwise overgrown 21-year old boy, is determined to thwart John by passive aggression, emotional sabotage and playing on the guilt strings of his mother’s heart. Incest is not the problem. Molly and Cyrus have maintained a mother-son relationship at a child’s level of bonding. They need to take a step away.

The comedy Cyrus rises on funny, realistic dialogue and good acting, especially by John’s friendly but annoyed ex-wife (Catherine Keener) who can tell her side of the story through the look in her eyes. The film by directors Jay and Mark Duplass does what an indie should do: revel a common corner of life in uncommon ways and examine the small-scale problems of realistic people—a market Hollywood has left behind. Cyrus is out on Blu-ray and DVD.

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