Cyrus (2010) Dir. Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass

“Cyrus” opens the Warsaw Film Festival for me. So far so good!

Jay and Mark Duplass’s movie “Cyrus” revolves around three curious persons: John (John C. Reilly), Molly (Marisa Tomei) and Cyrus (Jonah Hill). John and Molly are a couple. They have met at a party and hit it off immediately. Molly and Cyrus a couple, as well. She is Cyrus’s overprotective mum, and he doesn’t seem to mind, occasionally taking advantage of it (well, maybe more often than occasionally). Finally, John and Cyrus are a couple — a couple of bitter enemies, vengeful rivals that would stop at nothing to win Molly.

On the surface, Molly and Cyrus lead a perfect existence. He finds comfort and stability in her, and she fulfills her motherly needs and love doing everything for him. One day, however, John enters their sacred space, shaking the very foundations of their relationship. Clearly, Molly wants and needs a man in her life. She wants Cyrus to be on good terms with John. Cyrus has opposite views about it all — he wants John out of the way, no matter what. John’s presence threatens his position at home and his place in Molly’s heart. As you may expect, it all leads to many hilarious as well as dramatic occurrences.

“Cyrus” intelligently mixes drama and comedy. The Duplass brothers are successful in comedy fragments that are funny and witty, and drama bits that are moving and intense. Moreover, their script is beautifully written — the dialogues (with Cyrus’s snappy remarks, John’s bitter responses, and Molly’s deep reflections) are one of the advantages of the movie. Plus, the acting is excellent. There is an amazing chemistry going on between the three actors, the chemistry that makes the story convincing, touching, and very natural to watch.

I believe that “Cyrus” (as simple as it sounds) can be called a beautiful love story. From the very first moment they meet, John and Molly are meant for each other. They share interests and the sense of humor. It is a pleasure to see how well they are matched. It is also a pleasure to see love growing between them, love that is mature, yet full of lightness. The other love story here is Molly and Cyrus’s love. Their mother-son relationship may be a little odd and even unhealthy (after all, Cyrus is a grownup man), but later on they convince us that it is also precious. Matters become complicated when these two relationships, these two loves, intertwine, or even interfere. How else could a love story about three sensitive and vulnerable people follow? Amazingly, for sure — the Duplass brothers managed to avoid sentimentalism. Their movie strays from banality and clichés. They provide us with an intelligent and very enjoyable story, which makes it a rarity.

“Cyrus” will make your day, as it surely did mine.

Long days, pleasant nights,

Veronica Bazydlo

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