John C. Reilly has proven himself a comedic actor in movies such as Talladega Nights and Stepbrothers. So much so, we are convinced he can carry a comedy without Will Ferrell at his side. Jonah Hill has appeared in most Judd Apatow comedies, finally positioning himself for stardom after his hysterical role in Superbad.
So by theory, a movie staring Reilly as a likable loser courting Marisa Tomei against the will of her obsessive weirdo son, (Hill) should be a recipe for potentially one of the funniest comedies of the year. The problem? IT’S NOT A COMEDY!
Cyrus (Hill) is the 21 year old son of Molly (Tomei). He lives at home and spends almost every waking minute in the company of his mother. He soon finds his lifestyle threatened by his mother’s new boyfriend John (Reilly). John is a divorcee who is strangely close with his ex-wife and her fiancee. He is unlucky with women, but somehow his incredibly desperate demeanor attracts Molly and they begin getting serious. Cyrus believes his only way to horde his mother’s love is to break the couple up. As the two eventually wage war on each other hilarity ensues… Oh wait, no it doesn’t.
The movie opens with Reilly getting caught masturbating by his ex-wife. In the tradition of great comedies like American Pie, nothing sets the bar higher for the rest of the movie than throwing a quick tug at us straight out of the gate. The beginning holds promise, as John finds himself at a party dishing out horrible pickup lines and getting drunk. That’s when he somehow lands Molly. It was good to see Marisa Tomei hasn’t sold out like the rest of Hollywood with “overdone” facework that makes their lips look like mutant caterpillars and plastic cheeks. She is the quintessential hot, middle-aged woman found at your neighborhood gym, that you quietly hope will hop on the treadmill in front of you.
Cute? YES. Obtainable? Just maayybe.
Wait a minute… Why am I forcing out laughs? This isn’t funny. Is it? Is this a drama or a comedy? At first meeting of John and Cyrus all that happens is a “missing shoes” incident. It’s a decent start, but they keep focusing on this shoe situation through the whole movie like it’s an ongoing joke that no one finds funny. They almost know that, but keep going with it hoping that the repetition of the unfunniness becomes the joke. It doesn’t even make sense. You don’t hide someone’s shoes if you want them to leave. In fact, everyone knows that hiding your date’s shoes in a snowstorm is the best way to guarantee at least a layup and a sleepover (and it’s the default strategy for the Christmasy date rapes from the creeps, so watch for it!) Cyrus might as well have hidden his car keys. “That’ll get ’em”.
“Sorry, can’t find your shoes anywhere. Sooo, can I make you a drink?”
Jonah Hill plays a good creep, but it just doesn’t come across as funny. It’s more like watching a serial killer before he becomes a serial killer. It’s also tough to differentiate when what he is saying is a joke or not. Like being at a party and not being able to tell if a guy is really picking a fight with you or trying to be funny. If I chuckle at the awkwardness will everyone watching this movie with me think I’M a serial killer, too?
Bill, this is the WORST bachelor party ever!
The camera work is very amateurish. Alot of extreme close ups and rapid zooms. It’s like the directors saw Cloverfield and Blair Witch and said, “let’s try to capture that same magic except with an uncomfortable conversation in someone’s living room.” At times I felt like I was watching really awkward home videos.
Coming Soon… Cyrus 2: “Merry Christmas Grandma”
This movie is loaded with a series of acoustic guitar montages that simultaneously play over audio of a conversation, while neither audios match the scene on screen. You could be hearing Molly talk about feelings while you’re watching her kiss. Because it’s just one conversation that is being “montage’d” it feels like an ending. I was waiting for an old man’s voice to chime in as the scene changes to an old codger reading this as a bedtime story.
And that, grandson, was the shitty story of Cyrus.
Did I say Marisa Tomei was hot at the beginning of this movie? Maybe it’s the 6th beer, but she’s starting to resemble my grandmother. I can’t tell if it’s her face or the way she is dressing. It’s like this movie aged her 20 years while filming. Now that this movie is almost over I realize that I really don’t like any of the characters in it, and could care less how this all pans out for them. Now I just miss my Nuna.
If you like artsy melodramas you might disagree with me. I just can’t get over what a waste this was of a potentially great comedy.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever Jonah Hill stares creepily in a scene and doesn’t speak.
Take a Drink: for every awkward silence
Take a Drink: every time John C. Reilly’s penis is referenced
Take a Drink: whenever someone says the name “John” aloud (you will be drunk)
Down a Shot: whenever the missing shoes are mentioned.