Good actors are fun to watch and I think that is what makes the movie Cyrus so much fun. John C. Reilly, a terrific character actor, plays John a sort of beaten down everyman whose wife took a turn for the worse seven years ago that culminated in being left by his wife who early on in the movie announces she ‘s getting married. Spurred on by his ex-wife and her new fiancé, John goes to a party and disastrously, at first, tries to mingle. Despite the odds, and they are steep odds, he meets Molly, a beautiful and sweet woman played by Marisa Tomei and falls heads over heels for her.
At this point, if you didn’t know anything about the story you would be asking, “Where’s the catch?” The catch turns out to be Molly’s twenty two year old home schooled live at home son who has had an exclusive monopoly on mom for the last twenty two years and who isn’t above using a little emotional manipulation on mom to try to keep that monopoly.
There is some genuine humor here in patterns that get established in families that seem perfectly normal to those that are in them, but look completely different when seen from the perspective of an outsider. I found a lot of cringe-worthy moments, the kind only induced believable situations and characters. The movie respected its characters and never crossed the line into cheesy for the sake of the cheap laugh. From the previews I was a bit leery that the movie would do exactly that. There was one brief visual that went for the cheap laugh which I found both annoying and striking a false note, but otherwise the movie was consistently funny.
The film resonated with me on a couple of personal levels, the biggest being that I am now of the age and marital status that it’s not inconceivable that I could find myself dating a single mom with a son or daughter that age. And I am not too ashamed to admit it, I love Marisa Tomei.