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The funniest business trip of all time gets even crazier with the Super-Awesome Edition of Cedar Rapids — more hysterical footage, more outrageous shenanigans and more two-diamond fun!
Ed Helms (The Hangover 1 & 2) and John C. Reilly (Step Brothers) lead an all-star cast in the comedy that shows what can happen...when insurance agents go wild! Shy and naive Tim Lippe (Helms) ventures to the “big city” of Cedar Rapids for a convention and ends up crossing paths with the ultimate party animal (Reilly). Before long, Tim is crashing parties, skinny-dipping in the hotel pool and being seduced by a sexy soccer mom. And if Tim can survive the weekend, he might just change his life forever!
When a naive, small-town insurance agent named Tim Lippe (Ed Helms, The Hangover) goes to a convention in the big city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, his life gets turned inside out under the influence of three convention veterans. This sort of fish-out-of-water comedy could have been a flimsy excuse for broad slapstick and absurd high jinks; instead, in the confident hands of director Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl, Chuck & Buck), Cedar Rapids becomes something more humane and, in a quiet way, more ambitious. Helms manages to make Tim genuine, a man-child but not a cartoon; the movie's situations skirt wackiness, yet always remain in the realm of something emotionally real. (The movie also reflects the influence of producers Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, who created the similarly character-rich movies Sideways, Almost Schmidt, and Election.) The whole cast hits the right notes, from such familiar faces as John C. Reilly (Magnolia, Talladega Nights), Anne Heche, and Sigourney Weaver to such stealthy character actors as Stephen Root (NewsRadio), Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine), Isiah Whitlock Jr. (The Wire), and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development). Cedar Rapids is sweet without being cloying, funny without being manic, and even a little sad at times, without ever turning up the violins on the soundtrack. It's an honest movie, and there are all too few of them out there. --Bret Fetzer
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Ed Helms does a very nice job as a tremendously innocent insurance salesman from a small town in Wisconsin, sent to a convention in Cedar Rapids. This represents his first time on a plane, his first time in the ‘big city’. But while the film may tease Tim a little, it doesn’t treat him with the removed, hip irony most films now would, and makes him a complex character (e.g. back home he has a fun sexual fling going with his 7th grade teacher, wonderfully played by Sigourney Weaver. He may be an innocent, but he’s also a grown man with a sense of humor and self.). This ability to both kid and embrace characters is a long-time strength of director Miguel Arteta and producer Alexander Payne.
With some terrific support from John C. Reilly as a wild-man partier at the convention (who has more humanity than you’d think), Isaiah Whitlock Jr. as a straight-laced black room-mate (who has more humor, and more of a sense of fun than you might think), and Anne Heche as a party girl (who is smarter and more soulful than you might think). Maybe not quite a great film, but a good hearted and very enjoyable one.
I wish Ed Helms could find more roles like this for his unique, quirky comedic talent!
Felt that the film was well worth the rental price and may return to it at some future time, to enjoy it again.
Sometimes a female lead or supporting actor, sometimes in a subtle way, makes the movie. Anne Heche is fantastic in Cedar Rapids. Like Teri Polo in "Meet The Parents," the rest of the cast kind of revolve around her. Took me a little while to figure out who she was when she first appeared, she was so natural and perfect for the role.
The direction is great. Produced by Alexander Payne, "Cedar Rapids" has a lot of the feel of the magnificent "Sideways."