Cyrus (2010): Jay and Mark Duplass’ Tale, Starring Oscar Nominee John C. Reilly and Oscar Winner, Marisa Tomei

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Writer-directors Jay and Mark Duplass are iconoclastic filmmakers that make independent films in every sense of the term, low-budget, quirky and original, as far as possible from the norms of mainstream Hollywood.
“Cyrus,” their new film, a follow-up to the Sundance Film Fest hit, “The Puffy Chair,” adds an honorable panel to their work in offering a fresh, insightful look at love, marriage, family, and mother-son relationship in contemporary Los Angeles. 
The serio-comedy also bears the distinction of taking gifted actors, who usually play secondary roles–John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei–in Hollywood pictures and elevating them to the major league by assigning them leading roles.
This is a big summer for the talented actor Jonah Hill, previously known as a second banana in Judd Apatow’s comedies, with appearances as a leading man in two decent features: “Get Him to the Greek” and Now “Cyrus.”
Reilly play John, a single man 7 years after the breakup of his marriage, who has almost given up on romance, not to mention remarriage. With a social life at a standstill and ex-wife about to get remarried, John is a loser par excellence, a down on his luck divorce.
However, one day, at the urging of his former wife and best friend Jamie (Catherine Keener), he grudgingly agrees to join her and her fiancé Tim (Matt Walsh) at a party. To his surprise, he meets an attractive woman he likes, the high-spirited Molly (Marisa Tomei).   Based on strong chemistry, their relationship takes off quickly, but Molly refuses to take it further.
Perplexed, John follows her home and discovers the other man in Molly’s life, her son, Cyrus (Jonah Hill), 21, a New Age musician. Functioning as his mom’s best friend, Cyrus shares an unconventional bond with her, to say the least, willing to go to any lengths to protect her.
Moreover, he is reluctant to share her Molly with any man, especially John. What begins as a light, humorous situational comedy turns into something more serious and ominous in tone, when the two men are locked in a battle of wits over a woman they both love. The whole tale builds toward a climactic showdown. Who will emerge winner and at what price?
Using the innovative improvisational techniques that have earned them critical accolades and devoted following, Jay and Mark Duplass have crafted an emotionally touching, quite original story that blends humor and heartbreak, lighter and darker notes, themes that are particular to this story with more universal issues about the peculiar bond of mothers and sons.
The Duplass siblings’ personal style, edgy point of view, and unconventional narrative strategy account for movies (“Baghead” included) that cannot be compared to any others.
About the directors
Jay and Mark Duplass first made a mark at the 2005 Sundance Film Fest, with their feature debut, “The Puffy Chair,” which they produced, wrote and directed for only $15,000. A semi-improvised snapshot of the waning days of a relationship, the film won the Audience Award at the prestigious SXSW Film Fest. Prior to that, they have made some well-received shorts (“Scrapple,” “This Is John,” and “The New Brand”), in which they also acted, which had played the festival circuit.