June 30 2010 11:18 AM

Marisa Tomei tells us about her latest project


The sibling writer / director team of Jay and Mark Duplass are best known for their work in the mumblecore movement, making shoestring-budget stuff like The Puffy Chair and Baghead, movies about human relationships that are shot with handheld digital cameras and star actors you've never heard of and improvise a lot of their dialogue. It's a style of filmmaking that's gained traction in recent years, so much so that a studio sent them forth to make Cyrus, a movie with a real budget and real movie stars. It opens in San Diego this Friday, July 2

“Their style is so distinctive, and they were true to it. But at the same time, they also pumped it up,” actor Marisa Tomei told CityBeat last week. “It was great to see them make that transition.”

Tomei plays Molly, who hooks up with the divorced, drunken sad sack John (John C. Reilly) after a party. They discover that they're into each other, but there's one obstacle—the title character. Jonah Hill is Cyrus, year-old son, who lives at home and is his mother's best friend. His relationship with John and his manipulation of Molly is what gives the movie its awkward, creepy side. This is going to feel strange to people who aren't used to the Duplass brothers' work, but for fans of mumblecore, the style remains the same.

It's not a perfect movie, but it is an interesting one, especially for Tomei, who had to develop her character as the person stuck between John and Cyrus. “They wrote the part for John and then tailored the other one for Jonah, and then kind of worked that third person in there,” she says. “I saw her as more of an engine and having her own point of view, and I think they saw her as more reactive, so we met in the middle. I mean, you see her being promiscuous, you see her out on the prowl, and you see how she's compartmentalized all that. She's not hunting for a boyfriend; she's looking to get laid. He winds up literally coming to her, in her home. That's not what she's looking for. But there's something that feels right about going with the flow of it.”


I Am Love: Tilda Swinton is terrific as the Russian matriarch of a wealthy Italian family who falls for a chef who just happens to be her son's best friend.

I Hate Luv Storys: Romantic comedy, Bollywood-style!

The Killer Inside Me: Casey Affleck is an interesting choice to play Lou Ford, the sociopathic protagonist in Michael Winterbottom's adaptation of Jim Thompson's legendary pulp novel. The violence is seriously rated R, which makes it more realistic and very hard to watch. See our review on Page 23.

The Last Airbender: M. Night Shyamalan directs a big-screen, live-action adaptation of the hugely popular Nickelodeon animated series. That sounds so wrong. Oh, and it's in 3-D.

The Living Sea: The latest IMAX film at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center looks at all the creepy crawlies that live down in the deep blue.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: Blah blah blah Robert Pattinson. Blah blah blah Taylor Lautner.

The Ultimate Wave Tahiti: The latest IMAX entry at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park follows super surfer Kelly Slater as he does his thing on some massive waves.


Top Gun: Most famous movie ever shot in San Diego? Nah, that's Some Like it Hot. But this one's a close second. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 30, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.

Office Space: Sounds like someone's got a case of the Mondays. Er, Wednesdays. Mike Judge's look at cubicle hell is still painfully hilarious. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 30, at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido. Free.

Santo vs. Blue Demon en la Atlántida (Santo vs. Blue Demon in Atlantis): Campy Mexican wrestlers go underwater, save planet. Screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 1, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.

Rudo y Cursi: Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna reunite for the first time since they made Y tu Mamá Támbien, as small-town brothers who get rich playing soccer on a national stage. Screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 1, at Latte Mi Corazon Coffee Bar & Garden in Sherman Heights. Free.

Birdemic: The best worst movie you've never seen. Seriously, this take on Hitchcock's The Birds is brilliantly, awesomely terrible. Really. Screens at midnight, Saturday, July 3, at the Ken Cinema.

To Catch a Thief: Cary Grant is at his suaviest as a reformed jewel thief everyone thinks has returned to a life of crime. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, July 1 through 4, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.

Scarface: Say hello to your little friend. Screens at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Monday, July 5, at the Birch North Park Theatre.

Goldfinger: We prefer the classic James Bond movie over the Urban Dictionary description. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 7, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.

Labyrinth: Jim Henson had many strokes of genius, including casting David Bowie as Jereth, the Goblin King, opposite a really young Jennifer Connelley. Screens at 8 p.m., Wednesday,July 7, at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido. Free.

Casablanca: Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into his. Starts at dusk, Wednesday, July 7, at the Sail Ho Golf Course at Liberty Station. Free.


The Father of My Children: A family man and film producer finds everything falling apart, professionally and emotionally. Ends July 1 at Hillcrest Cinemas.

Grown Ups: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider are a bunch of dumbasses. And they're in a movie together.

Knight and Day: Neither Tom Cruise nor Cameron Diaz has the box-office power they once did, so will a thriller starring the two of them have more or less drawing power?

Stonewall Uprising: Documentary about the 1969 New York riots that took place when patrons finally got tired of cops harassing their favorite gay bar. Ends July 1 at the Ken Cinema.

Winter's Bone: Debra Granik's noir thriller, set in a closed meth-cooking community in the Ozarks, is as intense and grim as its name. It's well-written and well-made and features an amazing performance from Jennifer Lawrence, a 17-year-old who has to find her deadbeat father or she and her young brother and sister will lose their home.

8: The Mormon Proposition: Whether you're for equal rights, ignorant or just a good ol' fashioned bigot, you must agree that the Mormon Church illegally funneled all kinds of money into the pro-Prop. 8 campaign.

Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky: Two biopics, one movie!

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: Much, much more interesting and entertaining than you'd expect.

Jonah Hex: Josh Brolin plays the snaggletoothed old-west comic-book bounty hunter. Question is, now that she's been booted from Transformers, how will Megan Fox do as the foxy prostitute?


See all events on Friday, Oct 21