Cyrus (USA, 91 min)
Written & directed by Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass.
Starring: John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, and Catherine Keener.
Meeting Molly is just about the best thing to happen to John in the past few years. John is a divorced slob attempting to pull himself together at the behest of his ex-wife Jamie (played by the consistently splendid Catherine Keener). When Jamie brings John along to a posh party, his slovenly appearance makes him the elephant in the room; but, surprisingly, Molly takes a shine to John when she stumbles upon him peeing in the bushes. It’s one of the most awkward first encounters for a couple, but with how easily Molly warms to John’s self-deprecating humor, it’s one of the sweetest as well.
Although the scenes of the John-Molly-Cyrus triangle are frequently entertaining, Cyrus lags at times. However, brothers Jay and Mark Duplass approach the family situation with a stripped down aesthetic that makes Cyrus feel fresh. The hand-held camera work registers the emotional core of the family dilemma and complements the script and performances quite nicely. Cyrus mostly succeeds because the acting quartet has wonderful synergy in their lampoons, which ultimately makes Cyrus a sweet and funny romantic comedy.