Summer 2011 Summer Films series
Sunday, July 3, 2011 at 8:00pm
Directed by Miguel Arteta
Screenplay by Phil Johnston
Starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly and Anne Heche
Rated 14A ·
Miguel Arteta’s new film Cedar Rapids is peppered throughout with bursts of laughter that explode like wind gusts then quickly disappear. The film is full of odd tonal shifts. The comic moments are never sustained long enough before the drama sets back in. Still, it’s those funny scenes that you’re likely to remember most about this charming little film that was a hit at Sundance.
After being part of a winning ensemble cast in the 2009 comedy The Hangover, Ed Helms takes the lead as Tim Lippe, an insurance salesman from the small town of Brown Valley, Wisconsin. The town is so small, he seems to have sold insurance to everyone living in it and as a result is seen as some kind of local folk hero. The town is so small he’s actually having an affair with his 7th grade teacher played by Sigourney Weaver.
Lippe happily works at Brown Star Insurance and has never in his life been outside of his little town. Suddenly he’s asked to represent his company at a national insurance convention being held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His fish-out-of-water experience actually manages to make the town of Cedar Rapis look rather worldly.
The big laughs begin when he meets his hotel roommates played by rival insurance salesmen John C. Reilly and Isiah Whitlock Jr. Throw in a married but free-spirited Anne Heche as a love interest and things really get cooking.
Cedar Rapids is a smarter-than-usual sex comedy with a few truly hilarious scenes balanced with a good story filled with memorable characters.