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.
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
The name of the young call girl, "Bree," is an allusion to the movie "Klute," where Jane Fonda plays a call girl named Bree Daniels, and becomes romantically involved with a square private eye, played by Donald Sutherland. In Cedar Rapids, Bree and square insurance salesman, Tim Lippe, almost get to that point, too. See more »
The movie starts off in Brown Valley, Wisconsin. However, at the beginning when they're showing different scenes from the town, we see a directional highway sign in one shot that clearly shows a "diamond" shaped state-highway sign, which are used by the state of Michigan (where the movie is filmed). 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.
See more »
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 »
Written by William Barbot, Zachary Barocas, Kim Coletta and James Robbins, Jr.
Performed by Jawbox
Courtesy of DeSoto Records See more »
Hands down The best coming-of-age film for 40 somethings.
In all fairness I've never seen any other coming-of-age films for 40 somethings, so it's not much of a competition. But if this movie is any indication, there should be more.
"Cedar Rapids" is the story of a 40 something small town insurance salesman "Lippe" (Ed Helms) who leaves his small town for the first time. He travels to Cedar Rapids for an insurance convention in what turns out to be sort of a spring break for grown ups. And amidst all the hijinks he realizes some startling realizations about the real world which you & I might take for granted, but as seen through the eyes of a sheltered overgrown boyscout like Lippe, these realizations take on new meaning.
Yes, it's a comedy, but don't expect a raucous madcap misadventure like your standard teen coming-of-age flick. Instead what sets this apart is its level of maturity while being wacky. Lippe isn't stupid, he's just sheltered. So he learns quickly, and that's the power of this story. A plot like this could've easily been played for cheap laughs, but instead it forsakes the predictable cartoonish gags in lieu of something more like real life. That's not saying it's boring or dry (Lippe has his first exposure to alcohol, skinny dipping, prostitutes, drugs and fights, not to mention his hilariously awkward first time meeting a black man) so there's plenty going on. But it's all handled very tastefully--almost charmingly--rather than silly. And yet you still laugh because it's just so bizarre.
At the heart of the film is a timeless revelation we all can appreciate: what happens when the protected bubble you've lived in suddenly pops? Whether you're a kid learning there's no Santa Claus, or an adult learning that your idealistic view of the world was naïve, the feeling is the same, and this movie captures that feeling in a great way.
The entire cast is spectacular with a stand out performance by John C Reilly (you might recognize as "Dewey Cox" in Walk Hard) who plays a despicable cheeseball "Ziegler" whom you come to love. Isiah Whitlock Jr plays "Ronimal", Lippe's first black friend, who is almost as clueless as Lippe but stay tuned as he does an awesome parody of the gritty tv show "The Wire" (which Whitlock starred in). Rounding out Lippe's circle of new misfit friends is Anne Heche who plays "O-Fox", sort of the convention slut.
"Cedar Rapids" is a really clever and entertaining story that doesn't sink to crass humor to make its point (ok maybe there's 1 fart joke during the end credits). In a weird way it reminded me of "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" or maybe the hilarious indie real estate comedy "Open House". I never thought I'd sit through a 90 min movie about an insurance convention, but this one really surprised me.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this