Spoiled Children of Divorce


“Cyrus”
July 18, 2010, 9:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Saw an interesting movie about the difficult Mother, Son, Boyfriend triangle this week-end.  Cyrus is named after a potential step-son who does everything in his powers to destroy his Mother’s new relationship.  And, although it’s about the son, the story is told from the point of view of the step-father.  As I’ve discussed before, I suspect that we won’t really see too movies about divorce from a child’s point of view simply because it’s too difficult to narrate two stories going at once what with the double family stuff and all.

Well, with this cast, there’s no way I couldn’t like the movie.  Did I mention this before, the time that an ex-roommate and I realized that all Mom’s boyfriends are “Johns?”  Well, in this story, John C. Reilly plays a guy named John.  Marisa Tomei plays the Mother, Molly.  Catherine Keener plays the ex-wife.  And Jonah Hill plays the psycho son. 

Cyrus is shown as a freak throughout the movie until the very end, when, thanks to his Mother’s boyfriends’ open and honest handling of his relationship with both Mother and Son, he changes and becomes a nice guy.  

Cyrus’ Father has never been in his life, he has an exclusive relationship with his Mother which is unusual and pretty sick.  (Children of D often have much more intimiate relationships with one parent than kids from Intact families so it’s probably best not to call this type of relationship “sick”, rather just a result of belonging to a different lifestyle.  Either way, I realize that step-mothers in particular get tiffed off by walking into this type of relationship and maybe they could learn a couple of things by watching John C. Reilly’s character. When things get really crazy, Reilly can project into the future and realize how things won’t improve so he moves out.  Then, on his own volition and love for his Mother, Cyrus brings them back together.  And, again, this is only the movies and shows only how things ought to be and this particular movie is classified as a “Thriller” and not as a “Romance” in the imbd database.) 

Despite this, the movie is really great.  The actors are all awesome and if I knew anything about direction and writing I’d probably think that it is really well done.  The movie really does have a cathartic effect about how much children can expect to “own” their parents and to make their step-parents’ live hell.  It probably does offer hope to most who are living in a lot of pain.  Unfortunately, it does nothing to help children who are being abused by their step-children, which is probably an incredibly high number.  I complement the movie with reservation because I know how many step-parents will use this as ammo against their spouse’s children. 

One must notice just how freaky these people are and that they don’t represent the normal couple.  The boyfriend, John, has been separated from his ex-wife for 7 years and suffers from serious depression for which he evidentally doesn’t get treatment.  Like most Mother’s boyfriends, John  has really bad manners and constantly drops in on Molly. He’s a really nice guy but has limited social skills and it’s pretty bizarre that the Mother, who has shut her son off from the world (lovingly, of course), would accept such a slob into her life.  So, that makes no sense, but we all know it happens out there every day.

The Mother/girlfriend, hasn’t had her son meet a boyfriend ever since he was born.  As she is played by Marisa Tomei, this is really difficult to understand.  And, as she seems to be up-to-date on her sexuality practice, it appears that she has been keeping her dating  life secret from her son.  So, one wonders what a really open guy like John is going to do in the end with such a secretive, sneeky woman.  Isn’t there a control freak thing to deal with down the line, and is this all really Cyrus’ fault?  (No matter, because in the end, Cyrus is the one who really gets the release).

Marisa Tomei’s character is considered perfect, nonetheless.  She sees nothing wrong with either her son nor her boyfriend.  Another stepford wife in the movies?  Can’t wait for the sequel when we see John C. Reilly’s character sitting in the dark house by himself acting like Cyrus.

Cyrus is 21 so he’s not a child.  So all of the early childhood issues are not addressed.  And it’s pretty obvious that everything about him is unhealthy from a mental point of view.  Most Mother’s boyfriends would react differently than John C. Reilly’s character. 

Cyrus and his Mother have shared an exclusive relationship for his entire life in which they lick each other’s wounds constantly.  Even though Molly works she has managed to home school Cyrus so that he didn’t even have to deal with other children.  Cyrus dropped out of school at Age 16 and has worked on nothing but his music ever since. 

So, with all this going on, everyone is completely normal and ready to live in co-habitation with each other ever after and I really left the movie thinking feeling a little released.   

Either way, I wish I could see John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill play a step-mother, step-daughter version of this movie in drag. 

I tried to see whether any of the cast comes from divorce, or not, and can’t tell.  John C. Reilly has also played in another step-family movie, but he’s a Gemini and this might just be an astute astro-selection on the part of the casting couch.


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