Koutchboom’s Adventures In Terrible Comedy – Cyrus
Do terrible things always come in pairs? Or in giant groups? As I travel along this dusty road known as comedy it doesn’t seem like there are going to be a many cool road side attractions, just a bunch of run down old junk. Sure old worn down barns are interesting at first, but ultimately they are very boring. Which is also the case with my next movie ‘Cyrus’.
The plot of this movie is pretty obvious if you’ve seen the trailer. It is some wacky sibling rivalry comedy in which a divorced man (John C. Reilly) fights for the affection of a nice single lady (Marisa Tomei) with her overbearing attached at the hip 22 year old son (Jonah Hill). Now having seen the movie I can say just remove the wacky part and replace it with boring and that sums it up nicely.
This movie is known as what all the hipsters and cool cats are calling mumblecore. It is some new style of film making in which you make a terrible film that looks like shit and cost less than shit to make. They are about interesting relationship dynamics, but made as drab and uninteresting as possible. This movie by all means meets most of those requirements except for the fact the thing cost $7 million dollars to make, you can tell it all went right to Jonah’s gullet, that or someone is running around with 6 million dollars in their pocket. I’ve seen a couple of mumblecore movies, so I had some idea what I was getting into. It was the rest of the audience I felt bad for, they had no idea what they were getting into. Though bless them, whenever something remotely funny happened they all blurted out laughing like the world was going to end if they didn’t, but you could always hear the sadness in their laughter.
As you can tell from the trailers that they are trying to pass off this movie as the next film in the John C. Reilly vs Other Comedies series. It sort of rounds off his trilogy (Step Brother and The Promotion being the other two and are worth seeing) and by all means it is John C. Reilly vs. Jonah Hill but it is no where near as wacky and fun as those other two. The marketing team are obviously aware of how boring it is and have made it look like the other films in the trailer. Which is a total shame because this movie has the amazing jokes per minutes record of 1 joke every 30 minutes, that gives you three jokes total. Sure there are some other silly things, but as far as laugh out loud gags they promise in the trailer there are probably only 3.
Marketing aside, I am just pointing it out because I know some people are excited for this thinking it is something it totally is not. The movie as far as mumblecore goes is one of the better ones (most mumblecore movies contain no humor or anything). The movie was OK it was just so drab and dull that I couldn’t fain any interest in it. The concept is interesting, but nothing is really developed. There is the whole aspect that John C. Reilly has the same relationship with his ex-wife that Hill has with his mom that is never explored, Reilly never realizes that he and Hill are more alike than they think. Hill just comes off a sociopath and the resolution at the end just happens. Pretty much Hill says that he is sorry and then credits just pop up out of nowhere, that’s it…good enough. That’s sort of the mumblecore mantra.
The one thing I can say about this movie is that it is not worth your time to see in theaters. If you are interested wait for rental, mainly because the whole mumblecore concept of cinematography consists of random zooms and non-framed shots, but it is never done to the extent to give the movie some unique look. It kind of has a documentary look but not really because shit is staged, just badly. Also Jonah Hill is very interesting in this role, he keeps the movie interesting his deadpan humor does hit really well a few times, there is a whole bit where he plays his music for Reilly that is easily the funniest thing in the movie. He has created an interesting character, too bad it was not for an interesting movie. Reilly is fine, no where near as engaging as he was in The Promotion also I never felt any sense of desperation we are suppose to feel from his character, he is just a shlub floating through life. As for Tomei, sure she’s there, I don’t get her big appeal, she decent and all but she’s never wowed me. Most of her praise just feels like critics realizing that they are getting old and can’t pant over younger actresses like they used to, so along comes Tomei who looks good for 46 so critics act like she’s doing amazing work when it’s sub par compared to other actresses her age.
My final thought, if you have any interest in mumblecore then rent this, you will lose interest fast.