Tim Lippe has no idea what he's in for when he's sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at an annual insurance convention, where he soon finds himself under the "guidance" of three convention veterans.
Dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his widowed mother, slacker Jeff might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends the day with his unhappily married brother as he tracks his possibly adulterous wife.
Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective is recruited to close the case.
Tim Lippe (Helms) was the guy people always thought would go places but then he just ... didn't. He's been living in über-sleepy Brown Valley, Wisconsin his whole life, still "pre-engaged" to his 7th grade teacher Macy Vanderhei (Weaver), while selling insurance to protect other people's dreams. But now, Tim's stalled life is about to get a kick-start because, for the first time in his 34 years, he's headed to a "major" metropolis - Cedar Rapids, Iowa - where he must try to save his company at a do-or-die insurance convention that, for him, will be entirely unconventional. From the minute he checks into his hotel with his ancient American Tourister and cummerbund money belt, it's clear Tim has no idea how the modern world really works. He is soon smitten with seductive Nebraskan insurance agent Joan Ostrowski-Fox (Heche) and awed by his experienced roommates, the straight-shooting Ronald Wilkes (Whitlock Jr.) and the suspicious Dean Zeigler (Reilly). Disheartened when he comes ... Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Although originally intended to be shot on location, production was moved to Ann Arbor, MI when Iowa shuttered its film tax credit program. See more »
When Tim is on the rock-climbing wall, his competitors are alongside him; when Dean Ziegler remarks how high up Tim is (which causes Tim to panic), all of Tim's competitors are suddenly gone. See more »
One of the reasons I love Brown Valley so much is that when you do business here, chances are good you know the person you're dealing with.
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During the closing credits, the main characters tell (dumb) jokes at the cottage, and a commercial for their new insurance company is shown. See more »
I think Ed Helms just invented a new genre, the Midwestern. Ed Helms, Anne Heche, John C. Riley and Isiah Whitlock Jr. take you on one heck of a funny ride from the very beginning all the way through the end credits. Miguel Arteta did a terrific job directing the talented ensemble. Phil Johnston's hilarious screenplay humor was kept real without succumbing to worn out clichés. Ed Helms' character insurance agent Tim Lippe made you believe in his distinct sense of right and wrong. He transformed those around him by example not preaching. Every character added to the richness and heart of the movie. What could have easily become another sophomoric slapstick comedy turned out to be a wonderful story that just happened to be the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.
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