For a film starring John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei and Jonah Hill you’d think the buzz about it would’ve been louder—at least something more than the dark comedy style trailers that aired on TV. While it was hard to tell just from the trailer what the film was about, it looked as if it would be the usually zany/craziness we’ve come to expect from Reilly and Hill. If you slip this disc into your system though and expect this then be prepared to utterly detest this movie by the time it finishes. If you, for some reason, want to give it a second chance and sit through a repeat viewing now that you know what the film really is about you’ll probably find it to be a much more enjoyable character study than the trailers painted it to be.
John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Oscar Winner Marisa Tomei star in this quirky, hilarious story about love, family and cutting the cord. Not-so-recently divorced John (Reilly) thinks he’s finally found the perfect woman when he meets the sweet and sexy Molly (Tomei). There’s just one problem – Molly’s son Cyrus (Hill) clings to his mom like lint on a T-shirt, and he’s not about to let another man come between them. It’s one hysterically awkward moment after another as John and Cyrus fight for the right to be Molly’s #1 man.
That last line in the above synopsis is the key problem with this film—it was advertised horribly, horribly wrong. When you take two comedy heavyweights and pit them against each other you’d expect to hurt from laughing when it’s all said and done—but that’s never the case with this film. Which is fine, I’m not knocking the film for what it is, so much as I’m knocking the advertising big time. It’s one thing to slightly alter your perceptions about what the film would be about, but they really put it in an entirely different category. This is an independent romantic comedy and it features all of the strange quirks that come along with that—making it both a very character driven film as well as a having a strange air about it that only indie films have.
There are truthfully only two or three moments in the film that really had me laughing out loud and they were the same ones shown in the trailers. The rest of the film is a much more emotional story about Reilly’s character who really can’t connect with anyone except his ex-wife (and they have one of the most understanding and kind relationships for an ex-wife I’ve ever seen) and when he finally does, he does so with a woman whose 22 year old son won’t let go of his mother. At first you wonder if there’s really something wrong with Cyrus (like certifiably so, not just kind of) with the way he behaves, but there truthfully isn’t all that much that’s strange about his relationship with his mother. He had a very close relationship with her and while they did sometimes questionable things together, they were all each other really had so it wasn’t terribly surprising how close they were.
On the other hand Molly’s character was already kind of strange, especially with how accepting she was of Reilly’s character. Not because Reilly’s character was really all that off, but Molly accepted him following him back to her house and spending time with her son; on top of that they moved the relationship fairly fast and it was all…kind of just an accelerated relationship that was really full of understanding to a degree that I’ve never quite seen nor sure actually exists outside of films. Still it is a movie first and foremost so I suppose some suspension of belief must be given, even if it is so grounded in reality otherwise.
Truthfully speaking the film isn’t terrible, it’s just…not that good. The relationship aspects and the character study elements are certainly the highlight of the film, but aside from exploring a strange mother/son relationship and seeing how it changes when a father figure is introduced it…well, that’s really the whole crux of the movie. It’s certainly entertaining just for the performances and how much heart Hill is actually able to push out (considering we haven’t really seen him in this kind of role before) but in the end it’s still a film that’s a strict Rental. Keep your ideas of what this film is about wide and you won’t be so shocked by how serious it is and you should enjoy it fine. It’s more of a character drama than anything, so be prepared to not laugh all that often.
The set itself arrives in a standard single-disc Elite Blu-ray case without any kind of slipcover or anything. Inside is a barren case with just the lonely disc. Menus are simple and easy to navigate and extras…well, we’ll tackle that element in a paragraph or so.
Video is a AVC encoded 1080p effort and as usual it looks great. There isn’t a whole lot on this disc to fight for space so the fact that this is a fairly flawless transfer isn’t surprising, although there are a lot of low-lit scenes where grain crops up a bit; but aside from that there are plenty of daylight sequences that really show off what the format is capable when it comes to lighting and the detail that they can provide. It’s a pretty nice looking little transfer, although nothing that will shock you. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix is decidedly kind of overkill on a film like this so it’s no surprise that the surrounds barely make a whisper most of the time (aside from Hill’s techno music demos). Same for the LFE really—it’s a pretty mundane audio mix but it serves its purpose.
Deleted Scenes (2 scenes) – include intros by writers/directors Jay and Mark Duplass
Q&A – with Jay and Mark Duplass
Behind the Scenes
Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character with Jonah Hill and John C. Reilly
There isn’t a lot here really—less than a half hour of bonus content and none of is really worthwhile. It’s all in standard definition except for the deleted scenes, Music Mash-Up and Behind the Scenes bits and there just isn’t a whole lot here to look at or care about. A commentary would’ve definitely been welcome considering it’s such a strange angle for a romantic drama, but oh well. Like the film this is a Rental.
Cyrus is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.