Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Can You Say Oedipus Complex?: A Review of Cyrus

It's...Complicated... In a creepy, weird way...
Cyrus…oh what can one say about Cyrus? It was well made if that counts for anything, and the actors did a good job. Other than that nothing stands out as particularly special.

Think of this, but weirder. 
Actor John C. Reilly plays John who similarly is not particularly special. John is just an average joe, a lovable oaf, “Shrek” as he describes himself. Ex-wife Jamie, who is still on friendly terms with John, visits one day and invites him to attend a big party in Los Angeles. After a performing a lot of poor karaoke, getting hopelessly drunk and miserably failing to flirt with various single girls, John eventually runs into Molly. Surprisingly, this is a lovely and kind woman who seems to have a thing for the odd, misunderstood type (foreshadowing intended). Logically, the two strike up a romance. Looking forward to getting his life back on track, John is excited to spend more and more of his time with Molly. The only problem is she seems to disappear every evening. Cue Cyrus. Cyrus is in his twenties and literally living in mother’s basement. Needless to say, he has some serious mommy issues. The pair spend all of their time together, and Cyrus often doesn’t know how much is too much in terms of their mother-son relationship. For instance, he has no qualms about walking into a bathroom where Molly is taking a shower. John, much like the audience, is very creeped out when he discovers more about Cyrus’ strange behavior. Gradually, a rivalry between John and Cyrus ensues. Drama and weird, dark comedy ensue as John, Molly, and Cyrus change up the traditional love triangle by replacing another suitor for the woman with that woman’s son. Originality should be praised here.

The directing and writing team behind Cyrus, Jay and Mark Duplass, have managed to construct a fiction which was genuinely unpredictable. Kudos to the Duplass’s as well for avoiding the melodramatic, over the top style that is so often used, and that could’ve ruined their work, had it been used here. That being said, Cyrus did not manage to be truly captivating. There is not much to critique about the film, but it’s not quite deserving of the incredible amount of praise that is has received as of late.

Official YAMB Grade: Neutral

Nate S Grade:
Aesthetics: B+
Plot: A-
Characters: A-
Acting: A-
Overall Grade: B+

“You Sack of Wine!”
-Nate S


  1. Whoever added the pics/captions thanks, I approve. In a weird, creepy sort of way that is. :)

  2. Plus: wow. Pretty high grades for a neutral.

  3. Haha, yes Ben, was it the ridiculous amount of "..."
    And yeah, that's a rough neutral with an average of A-, but hey, whatev.

  4. Well, yeah, partly that. But also it just sounded like stuff you would say.

  5. I'll admit my grading of this movie was a little odd. However, I will attempt to justify my rating. My person rating reflected how I felt that the movie was made pretty good if not mindblowingly amazing by any means. The neural rating was because while it was a well made movie it was not one that I enjoyed. Most of the movies I grade down are because of specific reasons like the acting was bad or story sucked etc. This one....well just cuz I didn't really like it all that much as silly as that sounds.

  6. No problem. We weren't jumping on you, by any means.
    And yeah, that's a justifiable explanation. I guess it was one of those films that just didn't do it for you.

  7. Oh and "Oedipus Complex." So yes, I can say it.

  8. Oh and "Oedipus Complex." So yes, I can say it.


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