REVIEW: CYRUS

CAST

John C.Reilly (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Jonah Hill (Get Him to The Greek)
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)
Catherine Keener (Simone)
Matt Walsh (Due Date)
Tim Guinee (Lie to Me)
Elisa Gabrielli (Bride Wars)
The film opens as Jamie (Catherine Keener) walks in on her ex-husband John (John C. Reilly) as he is masturbating. She had come to his house to tell him that she is getting married. Even though they have been apart for seven years, the news still devastates John, who is already in a depression. Jamie insists that John accompany her to a party the following night and try to cheer up. At the party, John tries various conversational tactics with different women, failing to spark a connection each time. He gets progressively drunker until he ends up urinating in the bushes, where Molly (Marisa Tomei) compliments him on his penis and strikes up a conversation. Molly goes back to John’s house and leaves during the night, after they have had sex.
Molly returns for a second date the next night, and once again, she leaves after they have had sex. John follows her to her house and falls asleep in his car. The next morning, he warily approaches the house, where he is surprised to meet Molly’s son Cyrus (Jonah Hill). Cyrus invites John inside and makes friendly conversation with him. Molly is startled to see John in her house when she returns, but the trio have dinner together. John is slightly unnerved by evidence that Molly and Cyrus are closer than normal for a mother and son.
The next morning, John cannot find his shoes, which he had left in the living room. As the day wears on, he is increasingly disturbed by their disappearance and starts to worry that Cyrus has been messing with him the whole time. He ropes Jamie into meeting Molly and Cyrus, in order to appraise his paranoia. Jamie finds Cyrus sweet, if a little overly intimate with his mother. Relieved, John returns for another night at Molly’s home. As they begin to have sex for the first time in her house, Cyrus screams in his room, and Molly runs to comfort him. She does not return to John, who goes out looking for her in the middle of the night. Instead, he encounters Cyrus who is holding a large kitchen knife. Cyrus explains that he had a night terror, and that Molly has gone to sleep. He then counsels John to back off on the relationship, because he is scaring off Molly. John leaves a note for her and returns home.
In the morning, Cyrus sits Molly down and tells her that John had confessed to him that she was coming on too strong. When she presses Cyrus for more information, he explodes in a tantrum and storms off, checking through the window to make sure he has upset his mother. Molly calls John and begs him to come over, while she waits for Cyrus to return. When Cyrus finally comes home, he explains that he has rented a room and will be moving out. After a few days alone together, John decides that he wants to move in with Molly.
After one date, they return home and begin to have sex, while Cyrus sits in the darkened kitchen. He surprises them both and explains that he has had another panic attack and wants to return home. In private, John finally confronts Cyrus about everything, and Cyrus admits that he has been deliberately sabotaging his mother’s relationship. He moves back home, and John remains wary of him. The night before Jamie’s wedding, he warns Cyrus not to screw up the day, because it means a lot to him. At the wedding, however, Cyrus is hurt when he sees how the event stirs romantic feelings between John and his mother. He confronts John in the bathroom and attacks him, yelling that John will not take his mother away from him. As John defends himself, the two spill out of the bathroom, into the view of the other guests. Cyrus makes it look like John attacked him. John advises Molly to open her eyes, then he storms off, furious at Cyrus.
Later, Molly believes John’s explanation, but John will not consider continuing the relationship, convinced that Cyrus will only continue to sabotage it and that he will end up alone again in a few years. He moves into a dumpy apartment. Meanwhile, Molly confronts Cyrus about his behavior, and she explains that she is deeply unhappy at the loss of her relationship. Cyrus reconsiders his position and visits John, begging him to come back. John insists that he will not, despite his love for Molly. He is certain that Cyrus will only ruin things again. Unsure if Cyrus has left, John opens the door to see him sitting on the steps with tears in his eyes. They exchange some dialogue that denotes a truce between them. Cyrus then asks if he can get a ride home. John inquires as to whether or not Molly is home and Cyrus says that she is not. Once home, Cyrus and John hug to show that the truce is genuine. Once Cyrus goes into the house, Molly comes out alluding to the prospects of Cyrus now using his manipulative power to keep their relationship together instead of trying to rip it apart. John and Molly lock eyes and it looks like the relationship is back on track. The movie ends with John starting to get out of the car.
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Although billed as a comedy and wrapped in a comedic sheen of one liners, Cyrus is weighted heavily towards the dramatic. There’s nothing intrinsically funny about the situation, and it’s to the directors credit that they didn’t try to force too much comedy out of the film as it would probably have failed miserably. Much of the dialogue is improvised which probably helped to keep the film true to it’s dark centre. All three of the leads are excellent. Very enjoyable.

REVIEW: THE 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN

40 YEAR

CAST
Steve Carrell (Get Smart)
Catherine Keener (The Interpreter)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Romany Malco (Blades of Glory)
Seth Rogen (Paul)
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games)
Leslie Mann (This Is 40)
Jane Lynch (Role Models)
Kate Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Jonah Hill (Get Him To The Greek)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Hilary Shepard (Power Rangers Turbo)
Carla Gallo (Bones)
Kevin Hart (Central Intelligence)
Jordan Masterson (Last Man Standing)
Mindy Kaling (Ocean’s 8)
Cedric Yarbrough (Get Smart)
Barret Swatek (American Housewife)
Jenna Fischer (The Office)
Suzy Nakamura (Dr. Ken)
Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is a 40-year-old virgin who is involuntarily celibate. He lives alone, collects action figures, plays video games, and his social life seems to consist of watching Survivor with his elderly neighbors. He works in the stockroom at an electronics store called SmartTech. When a friend drops out of a poker game, Andy’s co-workers David (Paul Rudd), Cal (Seth Rogen), and Jay (Romany Malco) reluctantly invite Andy to join them. At the game (which he wins, due to playing online poker constantly), when conversation turns to past sexual exploits, Andy desperately makes up a story, but when he compares the feel of a woman’s breast to a “bag of sand”, he is forced to admit his virginity.
Feeling sorry for him (but also generally mocking him), the group resolves to help Andy lose his virginity. Throughout the next several days, the group’s efforts prove to be unsuccessful, partly because all three men give Andy different and sometimes contradictory advice. They take him to have his chest waxed. Cal advises Andy to simply ask questions when talking to women, which makes Andy seem mysterious. His advice proves to be the most helpful, when Beth (Elizabeth Banks), a bookstore clerk, takes a liking to Andy. Andy starts to open up, and begins to form true friendships with his co-workers. David continues to obsess over his ex-girlfriend, Amy (Mindy Kaling). After meeting her unexpectedly during a speed-dating event attended by the group, he has an emotional breakdown while making a sale and is subsequently sent home by store manager Paula (Jane Lynch), who promotes Andy to fill in for him.
Jay, seeing Andy’s continued reluctance to approach female customers, attempts to force the issue by hiring Andy a prostitute. When Andy discovers that Jay has inadvertently hired a transvestite, he is prompted to confront his friends, and tells them that he is taking matters into his own hands. Andy lands a date with Trish Piedmont (Catherine Keener), a woman he met on the sales floor who owns a store across the street. After Andy and Trish’s first date, in which they are interrupted by Trish’s teenage daughter Marla (Kat Dennings) as they are about to have sex, Andy decides to tell Trish he is a virgin. Before he can tell her, Trish suggests that they postpone having sex, to which Andy enthusiastically agrees; they decide they won’t have sex until their twentieth date. Meanwhile, Paula is impressed by Andy’s salesmanship and promotes him to floor manager.
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As Andy draws closer to his twentieth date with Trish, his friends begin to deal with the consequences of their lifestyles. David, still spiraling in his obsession with Amy, has become disillusioned with sex and has taken a vow of celibacy, prompting Cal to lure him out by hiring an attractive young woman named Bernadette (Marika Dominczyk) to work in the stockroom. After overreacting during an argument with an obnoxious customer (Kevin Hart), Jay reveals that his girlfriend Jill broke up with him after learning he had been cheating on her. Andy comforts Jay, who says that sex can ruin a relationship. Jill later decides to take Jay back (she is pregnant, and her misgivings about Jay as a father figure were what had spurred the breakup). Andy and Trish’s relationship grows, and Trish suggests that Andy sell his collectible action figures in order to raise enough money to open his own store. Later, Andy takes Marla to a sexual health clinic, where Marla reveals herself to be a virgin. The counselor (Nancy Carell) remains sympathetic, while the other patients in the clinic laugh at Marla. Andy defends Marla by admitting that he is a virgin as well, but only gains ridicule himself. On the way back to Trish’s house, Andy tells Marla that he only fabricated his virginity to protect her, but Marla deduces that Andy was actually telling the truth, and promises to keep this secret away from Trish, feeling that Andy should later inform her about it himself.
When they finally reach the twentieth date, Andy is still reluctant and resists Trish, upsetting her. An argument ensues, in which Andy accuses Trish of pushing him into changing his life against his will, and Andy leaves for the nightclub where Jay is celebrating his girlfriend’s pregnancy. He quickly gets drunk, and after running into Beth, leaves for her apartment with her. Meanwhile, David finally relinquishes his celibacy and hooks up with Bernadette, Marla convinces Trish to go and make up with Andy. By this time Andy has sobered up and, after witnessing Beth’s methods of foreplay, he starts to have second thoughts. As Andy is leaving her bathroom, he finds his friends waiting outside, having followed to warn him about Beth and encourage him to go back to Trish. They leave together (except for Cal), and Andy returns to his apartment, where he finds Trish waiting for him.
He attempts to apologize, but Trish, having found myriad suspicious belongings in his apartment, now thinks that Andy may be some sort of sexual deviant. Andy tries to convince her otherwise and declares his love for her, but she leaves in alarm and disgust. Andy chases after her on his bike, but at the moment of intercepting her, he collides with her car and flies headlong into the side of a truck. Trish rushes to his side in concern, and he finally confesses to her that he is a virgin. She is surprised to learn that this is the reason behind his strange behavior, as she does not consider it to be important, and they kiss. Later, Andy and Trish are married in a lavish ceremony with everyone in attendance, with a sidelong mention of Andy’s action figures having sold for approximately half a million dollars. Afterwards, they consummate the marriage over a period of two hours and one minute transitioning into a musical scene where the characters sing and dance to “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”.
Quite simply this is a very funny film Great performances from Carrell, Keener, Rudd and Rogan and from the rest of the excellent supporting cast