From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cyrus - B

Rated R for language and some sexual material, 91 minutes

Quirky indie rom com "Cyrus" has a good heart, cast

Quirky independent films are a dime a dozen these days, and the mildly unusual new indie rom com "Cyrus" is no different. It pulls no surprises and seems too low-key, but it has a great cast and a sensitivity that could draw some in. And anything that has one of my favorite actresses Catherine Keener, even in a small role, is something I can watch.

John (John C. Reilly) is seven years divorced from his wife (Keener) and is having trouble adjusting to his new life. After meeting Molly (Marisa Tomei) at a party, he thinks that maybe he has found the perfect person again. There's just one problem: Cyrus (Jonah Hill), Molly's grown son. John must find a way to make his romance with Molly work despite intentional and unintentional interference by Cyrus, but only one of them will be left standing.

"Cyrus" is an unconventional rom com with a handful of funny moments made better by a remarkably A-list cast for such a placid affair. Reilly in particular is the standout here, in a comedic role that's better suited to his talents than the stupid Will Ferrell films that misuse his talents. His frustrated schlump is the heart of the film, and you become endeared to him quickly. Tomei is lovely as is Keener, though they could've easily switched roles and it would've worked just as well.

As the title role, and the film's trickiest role, Hill is good and slowly becoming a decent young actor in the process, though it would've been far more entertaining to have him and Reilly in more of a showdown mode, and the script treats him well considering that it's largely an unsympathetic, slightly creepy role. "Cyrus" is directed and written by brothers Mark and Jay Duplass (of the horror film "Baghead"), who are venturing into the rom com genre with this film.

"Cyrus" is a little too low-key at times and it tends to meander, but the cast makes it work and there are a few good scenes of a frustrated Reilly nearly losing it. It's worth a look for the Reilly performance.