Viewed – 14 September 2010 Cinema
I wasn’t really planning on seeing this, but the movie I had gone to see had been cancelled due to a faulty print. So I am glad to report that this was a pleasant surprise. John C Reilly plays a bachelor still hung up on his ex-wife who meets a vivacious woman at a party (Marisa Tomei), and sparks fly, with them both soon ending up in bed together. Yet this woman has a 22 year old son called Cyrus, who John at first befriends. But it isn’t long until we discover that Cyrus has no intentions of allowing this man into his and his mother’s life, and plots to split them up.
This is a slightly awkward situation comedy / drama that doesn’t sit easily in either genre, with a fly on the wall feel (complete with shaky camera and unexpected close-ups), resulting in both me and my friend unsure of which points were meant to be taken seriously and which times to laugh out loud. Although I’m guessing this approach was intentional and creates a believable atmosphere of a tricky situation. John C Reilly is for me the star of the show, even if I only know him from Boogie Nights. He was likable and funny and I really got caught up in his plight. Tomei, once a fave of mine has certainly changed from the ditsy characters she used to play and is also very good. Yet this is mostly a vehicle for young actor Jonah Hill (Superbad) who delivers a creepy, comical and believable performance of someone unable to accept a new person in the life he’s become so used to. The movie’s tone did seem to set me up for a nasty twist that never came, and the ending felt a touch too safe for my liking even if on reflection it works well.
An enjoyable movie done in a unique but effective way, with real meaning at its centre.
Verdict: 3 /5