John(John C Reilly) is a miserable man who after seven years has still not gotten over his divorce, while at a party he meets Molly (Marisa Tomei) who is the perfect woman for him, till he meets her son Cyrus (Jonah Hill)
While seeing the trailers for Cyrus I was lead to believe that what we had here was a film that could basically be step brothers 2, Except rather than two step brothers battling it out we have a son and his moms boyfriend battling it out. John C Reilly is back but rather than have Will Ferrell as a competing man child we have Jonah Hill as a 21 year old son who doesn’t want anything coming in the way of his relationship with his mother. Cyrus even comes complete with a scene at night where John asks Cyrus if he has ever been knocked out.
For the most part the similarities end there, Cyrus is much more grounded in reality and Jonah Hill exudes a creepiness that he hasn’t displayed in other films. The rotund comedic actor certainly delivers the laughs, his deranged Cyrus seems to be mentally unhinged, you are not quite certain if Cyrus is a nut job or just a crafty guy who knows how to get the sole attention of his mother.
Reilly brings his strong comedic touch to the role of sad sack John a guy who feels he has a lot to offer but no takers. There is an air of realism thrown into the character of John that just doesn’t typically happen in film from his awkward party banter to his semi-stalking of molly to find where she lives that is both funny and believable. People forget that Reilly is a gifted dramatic actor who has found mainstream success in comedy, his ability to provide empathy and humor to the role of John is based on the believability of his characters suffering.
Marisa Tomei in the midst of a career resurgence, delivers a strong performance as the loving and doting mother of Cyrus who sacrifices her own personal enjoyment for that of her “quirky” son. Tomei who seems to get better with age deftly mixes comedic momemts with those that require heartfelt emotion. She has come a long way from my cousin vinney and should be a much bigger star than she is. I would much rather see a talented actress in a small film than a perceived star like Cameron Diaz in a big budget film (Knight and Day) any day.
At its core Cyrus is a believable love story with a lot of funny moments and a few that will make you laugh out loud. In a disappointing summer of big budget garbage Cyrus is a great alternative.