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|Index||84 reviews in total|
Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) is an insurance agent for a small company in a far from large city in Wisconsin. He's really never ventured anywhere, staying near his home most of his life. On the side, he is having a fling with a former teacher, newly divorced (Sigourney Weaver). Yes, she's a bit older than him, but still hot and Tim thinks there is a future between them. In the policy biz, he leaves the spotlight for a fellow agent (Thomas Lennon) who has won prizes from a big, annual hoopla in Cedar Rapids Iowa, two years running. Oh, fate is not kind! The prize winner dies suddenly and the big boss asks Tim to go to CR and declares he MUST come back with the top award money. At once, Tim hates leaving his comfort zone and his lady love. Arriving in CR, he meets a nice agent who will be his roommate (Isaiah Whitlock Jr.) So far, so good. Tim even makes eyes with a beautiful lady saleswoman in the fitness room (Anne Heche). But, all heck breaks lose when a loudmouth agent named Dean (John C. Reilly) shows up and announces that he is rooming with Tim! With all of these talented insurance sellers in the same place and a harsh judge (Kurtwood Smith), will Tim have any chance to win the competition? And, will Tim succumb to the temptations of the "big city"? Also, are there some secrets to be uncovered, especially about past prize winners? This delightful indie is a quirky, entertaining movie. The cast is terrific and very talented, giving memorable turns, although Heche is hard to recognize with a auburn hairdo. The script and direction, too, are lively and intelligent. No, the setting, mostly inside a large hotel, is not exactly eye candy but the costumes are quite fine. My advice is to move rapidly, all indie fans and others, too, to the DVD outlets and snag Cedar Rapids before too many minutes pass you by.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ed Helms' role in The Office was my reason for wanting to see this
film, other than that I didn't know a thing about it. So it was a nice
surprise to see a pretty nice cast turning up here, especially the
enchanting Alia Shawkat and The Wire's Isiah Whitlock Jr., and I could
have sworn I saw Jack Nicholson there for a few seconds...
The premise of a Wisconsin farm boy (they breed insurance) going to a bigger city for his maiden voyage was promising, but it mainly delivered because of all the fun actors in it, and a few individual scenes were quite funny, like the drug outing with Bree and the pool brouhaha. The script is just barely doable, in particular the way it all lands so nicely on its feet is is just too predictable and dull.
Not bad, but could have been so much better.
This one is actually pretty decent, though. The writing isn't amazing
or anything, but it's better than you'd expect. The setup is nothing
special -- just another fish out of water scenario -- that becomes
increasingly sly and cynical as time goes on. While there's a depth to
the writing that I didn't expect, it's the actors that really make it
work and come alive. I especially liked John C. Reilly, who made me at
first wince with his stereotypical, party animal characterization, but
then exposed a fully fleshed out character who rose beyond the
stereotype. It's this kind of sly writing that exposes a cliché, then
winks at you, as it reworks the cliché. Unfortunately, this isn't
always the case. There are a few barbs in here at the expense of
conservatives, Christians, and Midwesterners that are played painfully
straight. There's certainly a subversive element here, but part of me
wonders if it would have been even more subversive to avoid some of the
most obvious and clichéd elements that we were all expecting, such as
hypocritical Christians and backstabbing businessmen.
In the end, there's personal growth for each of the protagonists, lessons are learned, and comeuppance is served to the antagonists. Amusingly, consequences are avoided for the vast majority of actions taken by the protagonists, leading some fine, upstanding Christians to decry this movie. I found that to be arguably even more entertaining than the movie itself. My problem with the end is not that it's amoral, but that it's a bit predictable. Still, it was handled well, and I did enjoy the movie.
I go back and forth on my rating, torn between a 6/10 and 7/10. There are a lot of clichéd elements to the script, and simply inverting the clichés doesn't instantly make them witty. However, the cast (especially John C. Reilly) really does rise above the less witty aspects of the writing. I always liked John C. Reilly, but now I think I'd call myself a fan, on the strength of his performance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Of course, there were the usual nice guy gone wild scenes, and stock happy ending, but this ensemble cast pulled it off brilliantly. There were many scenes in which I laughed out loud. I was disappointed in the scant use of Sigourney Weaver, however. Overall, a fun time was had by all who watched it. John C Reilly really made the movie. A true comedic actor. Ann Heche played a believable bored housewife out for her yearly fling. Good to see her again. Ed Helms played the perfect dork with a conscience. Isaiah Whitlock was solid, and I laughed at many of his scenes, but when they had him play a stereotype "black dude", it was kind of predictable, especially the reaction at the party in which everyone was "scared". Still, with all it's flaws I enjoyed it. Definitely re-able.
"Cedar Rapids" is not really the type of comedy that will have you
laughing hard and wiping your cheeks from tears of laughter. But it is
the kind of comedy that slowly seeps into you and stays with you for
The story is about the fairly naive and timid of life insurance agent Tim Lippe (played by Ed Helms) who have to go to a convention in Cedar Rapids in order to attempt to win an award for his company. Here he befriends Dean Ziegler (played by John C. Reilly), Ronald Wilkes (played by Isiah Whitlock Jr.) Joan Ostrowski-Fox (played by Anne Heche) who all play parts in a life-changing event for Tim.
The story in "Cedar Rapids" was actually quite good, and it was captivating and really nicely put onto the big screen. The story was progressing at a nice pace and had some great moments, where the actors and actresses really got to shine in their characters. I was really impressed with both Ed Helms and Anne Heche, and their on-screen chemistry was just so great. But there was also nice supporting roles by Stephen Root (playing Bill Krogstad), Kurtwood Smith (playing Orin Helgesson), Sigourney Weaver (playing Macy Vanderhei) and Thomas Lennon (playing Roger Lemke).
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, despite it not really being the type of movie that made me laugh. But it was a great story and one that seemed very plausible and one that you could easily put yourself into. It is a comedy that celebrates life and all the chaotic randomness that makes up people's lives.
"Cedar Rapids" is well worth checking out.
The poster for Cedar Rapids made me expect a hijinks-away-from-home movie with plenty of physical, gross-out and fish-out-of-water humor. There's certainly some of that - especially the last one - but the pleasant surprise is that it's not the focus of the movie. The humor, actually, is surprisingly dry and sardonic, and for the most part dark satire takes precedence over physical gags, which are there just enough to keep it funny. This works thanks to an excellent, sharp script and great characters - Ed Helms is aided by solid performances from John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr. (The Wire), Stephen Root (NewsRadio) and Kurtwood Smith (That 70's Show). A very solid comedy, not particularly memorable but very much worth a watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Tim Lippe, a man from a small town in Wisconsin, is a decent man. That
does not mean he is a saint. When we meet him, he is seen making love
to his former school teacher, Macy Vanderhei, a woman much older than
Tim. Tim is employed at an insurance agency which will be represented
by his boss, but the man's untimely death, leaves the head of the
agency no alternative but to send Tim to represent the company and to
win the coveted 'two diamond' award for the best agency covering the
Tim is naive in a lot of ways. Taking his first flight is an unexpected thrill for him. He is not prepared for the big city ways. As he is about to enter the hotel, he meets a friendly prostitute outside looking for prospects. Tim is made to share a small suite with Ronald, and the man he was told to avoid, Dean Ziegler. Tim is horrified. When Joan Ostrowski-Fox, a woman attending the convention arrives, things change for Tim. Meeting the man in charge of granting the award in the locker room is something he would have loved to avoid since both are naked and the man insists in giving him a hug.
"Cedar Rapids" is a good comedy which rings true. Miguel Arteta directed the film with an eye to keeping things in check and not making the mistake of going overboard with things that might have derailed the film. The screenplay was written by Phil Johnston. The situations presented are what one would expect in a place where people go for fun and relaxation. Most of the events featured are what such events try to capitalize when it involves people that are not exactly sophisticates.
Ed Helms keeps getting better all the time. He is always seen in roles that show him as a naive man. His Tim is basically a decent individual trying to do a good showing and bring back the trophy. John C. Reilly proves he is a source of fun wherever he appears. His Dean is a man who likes occasions such as being away from home to have a good time, no matter what. Anne Heche is Joan, the lady who knows the territory. Isiah Whitlock plays Ronald, a straight laced man who shows his worth to get his friends from a sticky situation. A perfect Sigourney Weaver appears as Macy. She is not around much, but she certainly impresses. Others in the supporting cast include Stephen Root and Kerwood Smith.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
sort of in the vain of how girls gone wild. Tim from small town
Wisconsin suddenly gets his chance to go to the insurance meeting in
Cedar Rapids after lead salesman, Roger, dies in a disturbing way. He
wants his elderly "girlfriend"( his 7th grade teacher ) to accompany
him, but she won't; after all he's pre-engaged. He doesn't know how
airport security works and is at first frightened when he sees his
roommate, Wilkes, is black. He also finds out he has a third roommate,
Ziegler, whom is the guy his boss warned him to stay away from. Ziegler
is wild and is there to party. His influence along with Joan and Wilkes
lead Tim astray from his plan. Tim gets drunk, hangs out with a hooker,
does drugs, has a dip in the pool in his boxers, and sleeps with
married Joan. But, he still "gets" the 2 diamond award before deciding
to fess up.
This movie is character driven and they were funny, especially Ziegler. It wasn't too over the top to believe a guy like Tim could go crazy with peers.
FINAL VERDICT: Worth a viewing.
I almost gave this one a lower rating, but the more I thought about it later, the more I liked it. This is a pretty well made comedy here, and it does offer more than just laughs. I couldn't help but wonder through most of it, though, 'why should we care about this story'. Well it does have some slightly deeper elements within that come out in the later, and overall everything flowed really well throughout. I found it amusing how some of the characters here felt like they trying to be funny in parts and didn't feel like they we're just acting like every other character in the film. They did feel some what genuine. Overall, the cast really shines here, but what bothered me about the film was some of it's shameless-ness felt out of place at times, and also the changes our lead character goes through in it over such a short period of time. Otherwise, I can say this is one of the better comedies of the year by far. I would also like to see Isiah Whitlock Jr. in more films as well. He was perfect in every scene he's in.
¨There's a separation between religion and insurance. It's in the
constitution.¨ Who would've ever thought that a comedy could be made
about a bunch of insurance people gathered at a Convention in a small
city named Cedar Rapids? Miguel Arteta (Youth in Revolt and The Good
Girl) certainly did, and he did a great job with directing this film
putting the emphasis on the characters and not so much on the story.
It's a character driven comedy and the cast was really perfect for this
sort of comedy; even the small city, Cedar Rapids, becomes an important
character in the movie. Phil Johnston should also receive plenty of
credit for writing an interesting and original script. He was able to
create good characters and they are developed really well in the short
90 minutes the movie lasts. Cedar Rapids is an unconventional comedy,
but it works nonetheless; there are very funny moments and great
performances from Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. They
all worked really well together and were able to deliver a very funny
comedy which sort of mixes the buddy comedy with road trip with the
classic fish out of the water scenario. Cedar Rapids is a very
interesting and modest small film, just like the small city in Iowa is.
It's not a perfect comedy, but Cedar Rapids is much better than most
comedies that I've seen recently, and it stands out from the rest.
The main character of the film is Tim Lippie (Ed Helms) who has dedicated his whole life to the insurance company he works for. He's lived his entire existence in Brown Valley, Wisconsin and has a relationship with his seventh grade teacher, Macy Vanderhai (Sigourney Weaver), with whom he is ¨pre-engaged.¨ He believes to be living a good life, but things turn around for him when the star insurance man of Brown Valley passes away after a freak ¨accident.¨ Lippie's boss, Bill (Stephen Root), asks him to replace his former co-worker and travel to the insurance convention in Cedar Rapids to represent the company and try to win the Two-Diamond Award for Excellence for the third year in a row. It is the first time in his life that Lippie is going to travel on a plane and stay in a hotel, so things are very new for him. He will soon realize that not everything is as it seemed, and that life can get pretty wild in Cedar Rapids. Lippie has to share his hotel room with two other insurance men who have already been to dozens of these conventions: Ronald Wilkes (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and Dean Ziegler (John C. Reilly). Ronald is a nice African American who makes Lippie feel at home. Dean is also a great guy, but he is very outspoken and behaves unethically at times. Lippie is shocked at first by his behavior and attitude, and tries to stay away from him because his sole mission is to win the award and impress the judge, Orin (Kurtwood Smith), who is a firm preacher of ethics. Lippie also befriends a female colleague named Joan (Anne Heche) with whom he gets romantically involved. Lippie's life will change in Cedar Rapids, and he's going to have the experience of his life.
The film works really well because of a couple of factors: First of all Ed Helms did a terrific job with his character and he proved that he can be a lead man in a comedy. His performance was truly hysterical as he played the typical naïve and innocent sort of guy, and it balanced out really well with John C. Reilly's outspoken and know it all character. The chemistry between both actors was excellent, and Reilly played his role to perfection because he wasn't the typical loud character; he had much more heart and was carrying at times. Anne Heche also delivered her role really well, but the funniest character in the film for me was Isiah Whitlock who really delivered the greatest laughs with his dry humor and The Wire personating. The scene where the guys interrupt a party in order to rescue Lippie is probably one of the best ones of the movie. The success of the film really relied on the performance of these actors, because Cedar Rapids was a character driven film. The characters were believable and true, and not simply characterizations and stereotypes; they had a lot of depth. I've got to give the credit to Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, and Isiah Whitlock who all played a big part in making this as funny as it was. This is not your typical comedy, but I still recommend it.
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