Featuring an all-star cast that includes the likes of John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei, the Duplass brothers look to have finally broken into the world of mainstream cinema—but then there is the story. Taking a detour from the typical love-triangle situation, the guys opted to remove one of the men and replace it with the woman’s son, in this case, Cyrus. The decision is pivotal to the success of the film, and to be quite honest, I don’t think the guys have ventured too far from their indie roots.
Jonah Hill plays Cyrus. Using his quirky sense of humor and stylistic delivery, Hill outshines his co-stars and truly gives the show-stealing performance that we have come to expect. His character, Cyrus, is a bit messed up in the head, sharing a relationship with his mother that could be called into question several times during the course of the film.
Whether it be his first-name reference to his mom, Molly, their nightly spooning episodes, or their openness in sharing the bathroom while one is showering, you simply can’t look at the college-aged kid and see anything but strangeness. It is a typical husband and wife scenario, but placed between a mother and son—awkward? Yeah, a little.
But the Duplass brothers deal with the story in just the right way. Poking fun at the humor and hitting an emotional high at just the right time, the guys conform the two genres to fit their style, giving it an edge that reminds you of their filmmaking roots. Their simplistic formula shines through, especially during the film’s opening scenes, stirring up sizable laughter that you just can’t ignore.
I personally don’t see Cyrus sticking around for award season (it simply isn’t that good), but I do think that it is a monumental step forward for Mark and Jay. It is their first encounter with money and studio backing, and given the freedom to tell their own story, I was highly impressed with the end result. It isn’t anything miraculous, but the oddball humor is something that you have to see to believe!