CATEGORIES Reviews
Look for Oedipal antics on the screen this weekend in the quirky 'Cyrus.'

The Fox Searchlight film comes courtesy of Jay and Mark Duplass, the creative team behind mumblecore indies 'Baghead' and 'The Puffy Chair.' 'Cyrus' stars John C. Reilly as John, as a middle-aged single smitten by Molly (Marisa Tomei), who has an unusual attachment to her son, Cyrus (Jonah Hill).

Conflict arises when Molly brings John home and Cyrus is none too pleased. The film becomes a war of wills between John and Cyrus, with Molly stuck in the middle.

The critics are generally mixed in their appraisal. Some laud the Duplasses for taking the film into uncharted -- and emotion provoking -- territory. Others find it a bit too weird, lacking focus and cohesion.

Read what they have to say: Look for Oedipal antics on the screen this weekend in the quirky 'Cyrus.'

The Fox Searchlight film comes courtesy of Jay and Mark Duplass, the creative team behind mumblecore indies 'Baghead' and 'The Puffy Chair.' 'Cyrus' stars John C. Reilly as John, as a middle-aged single smitten by Molly (Marisa Tomei), who has an unusual attachment to her son, Cyrus (Jonah Hill).

Conflict arises when Molly brings John home and Cyrus is none too pleased. The film becomes a war of wills between John and Cyrus, with Molly stuck in the middle.

The critics are generally mixed in their appraisal. Some laud the Duplasses for taking the film into uncharted -- and emotion provoking -- territory. Others find it a bit too weird, lacking focus and cohesion.

Here's what they have to say:

Entertainment Weekly: "(Jay and Mark Duplass) work with a rhythm and tone, and a psychological fascination, that are altogether more realistic -- closer, in spirit, to something the young Roman Polanski might have brought off. 'Cyrus' may on some level be a stunt, yet the Duplasses' slightly sluggish, low-budget, mumblecore style allows this story to flower as both light-fingered lark and drama of suspenseful dysfunction."

New York Observer: "These people are so weird that although the film is labeled a comedy, it hovers on the dark side in so many shadows that it is rarely amusing. Yet it never has the courage to fully explore the havoc a real Oedipus complex can wreak on the lives of real adults. How these two oddballs resolve their differences and make a clumsy stab at bonding gives the film a soupcon of hope that is even more preposterous than the rest of the absurd plot maneuvers that drag a 30-minute idea into a 92-minute ordeal."

The New Yorker: "But the Duplasses have put themselves in a paradoxical situation: the story of a sexually hungry boyfriend struggling against his lover's creepy son has the built-in volatility of a commercial-movie premise. When Cyrus and John square off, the Duplass brothers might have turned in one of two directions: toward wild comedy or toward anguish and rage. There's a dose of the latter, but the rage is quickly smothered in niceness, and the movie becomes tame."

'Cyrus' trailer


Variety: "In many ways, the success of a Duplass film is measured not in laughter, but by how much the audience winces through scenes of uncomfortable recognition. The helmers specialize in passive-aggressive behavior, unlocking truths long absent from scripted comedy simply by allowing their higher-def Red cameras to linger in closeup on how characters react to certain situations (too frequently ruptured by focal adjustments and mini-zooms that give everything a certain pseudo-amateur homemovie feel).

The Hollywood Reporter: "Screenwriter-directors Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass have skimmed the surface perversity of a troubled mother-son relationship and have looped it around a romance between two very needy people. They've also crammed in some unnerving Oedipal oddities, but don't seem to have the maturity to use them beyond cheap dramatic titillations."

Salon.com: "Do shlubby John C. Reilly and ultra-hot Marisa Tomei make a plausible couple? They kinda do, in this enjoyably off-kilter romantic comedy from filmmaking brothers Jay and Mark Duplass ('Baghead,' 'The Puffy Chair'), who have ascended from zero-budget DIY movies to a mildly more expensive version."