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.
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
David O. Russell
Robert De Niro
Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.
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
Isiah Whitlock Jr.'s character Ronald Wilke references the character Omar from the TV show The Wire (2002). He played the character State Sen. R. Clayton 'Clay' Davis on the TV series. According to Whitlock, the 'Wire' references were in the script before he was cast, and they decided to keep them in place as an in-joke for fans of both Whitlock and his former show. See more »
After the awards ceremony, when Ed Helms is telling his boss that he has taken his clients from him, his mouth does not move in sync with the words he is speaking. 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 »
Miniscule-town insurance agent Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) has cocooned himself from reality in a world of naive love and impregnable honesty. Self 'pre-engaged' to his former primary school teacher Macy Vanderhei (Sigourney Weaver) works for a company, which prides itself with consequently winning an award for best insurer. After the estranged death of his colleague, Lippe is forced to venture to the 'big-city' of Cedar Rapids to pitch for his company winning another trophy at a big convention. Released from his safe environment Lippe is thrown in with the sharks, such as the restrained African-American Ronald Wilkes (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and the obscene and in-your-face Dean Ziegler (John C. Reilly), both his roommates, or the seductive Joan Ostrowski-Fox (Anne Heche). With his innocent charm Lippe manages to befriend the local prostitute Bree (Alia Shawkat) and soon becomes a focus of interest by both Ziegler and Ostrowski-Fox, both intent on 'deflowering' him in their own way...
Thrown over some silly humour the cast fail to stir up any excitement, apart from the entertainment provided by Reilly spurting out crude gibberish with his crass, but endearing and well-meaning character. Somewhere in between I suppose a sense of social comedy was supposed to be afloat, let's say an odd coming-of-age story, but ultimately it just slowly drifts by failing to deliver some fire or captivate with quirky characters. The dialogue is rigidly awkward, probably intentionally, but the manner of narrative failed to appeal, instead dragging until the final credits.
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