91 minutes| U.S.A.| 2010| Colour| D-Cinema

Jay and Mark Duplass inch closer to successfully infusing comedy-of-awkwardness with pained pathos in Cyrus, the story of a video editor named John (John C. Reilly) who, seven years after a divorce, finds his new relationship with Molly (Marisa Tomei) complicated by the devious machinations of her clingy 21-year-old son Cyrus (Jonah Hill). Given Reilly’s participation as well as the overriding air of stunted social development, Cyrus frequently feels like a lower-budgeted, sadder companion piece to Step Brothers, with the filmmakers considering their characters kindly and, in doing so, rooting their material’s wit in the pitiable need and loneliness of their protagonists. As importantly, when fully engaged with the process of being funny, the film is frequently a riot, thanks in part to a rapport between the dishevelled Reilly and methodical Hill that’s teeming with over-the-top resentment, their shared intensity – barely concealed beneath placid demeanours meant to please Molly – proving to be the wacko energy that drives these hilarious proceedings. (Notes by Nick Schager).

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