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CEDAR RAPIDS review by John Delia

March 10th, 2011




Starring: Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Stephen Root Sigourney Weaver and Alia Shawkat

Directed by: Miguel Arteta

MPAA Rating: R for crude and sexual content, language and drug use

Genre: Comedy

Running Time: 1 hr. 26 min

Distributed by: Fox Searchlight Pictures

By John Delia

The comedies are taking over this movie going year and with Cedar Rapids it’s an above average laugher.  The film moves along with a great deal of character build up then explodes with some very nicely staged sight gags and embarrassing situations.  The fun here comes from a keenly written script and fine acting.

Stars Anne Heche, John C. Reilly, Ed Helms and Isiah Whitlock Jr.

The story centers on Tim Lippe an insurance man who has been on top of his game in an office that has won the prestigious Two Diamond Award for three years running.  In a quirk of fate he is sent to represent the company for the first time at the annual insurance convention where he will compete for a fourth consecutive Two Diamond Award. In his way, however are his gullibility and the inexperience of dealing with his fellow salesmen.


Joan (Ann Heche) meets Tim (Helms) in Cedar Rapids

With Ed Helms doing straight-laced comedy making Tim Lippe much like The Office character Andy Bernard or his The Hangover’s Stu Price he sets up a series of naïve gags that he easily carries throughout.  But the big hitter here is the always-funny John C. Reilly as Zeigler who takes Tim under his wing and leads him into some very wacky situations.


Sure the film gets silly and predictable, but that’s what makes Cedar Rapids fun.  It may not be the funniest film for 2011, but it certainly offers 90 minutes of escape from the trying times in which we live.


Cedar Rapids is rated R for crude and sexual content, language and drug use. Well it seems that most all films rated R today include a sex scene and Cedar Rapids conforms.  Even Sigourney Weaver gets into the act bouncing on Ed Helms within the first ten minutes of the movie, but in this case it’s for shock effect I’m sure.


FINAL ANALYSIS:  Who’d a thought Insurance could be funny. (B-)

(Photos courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures)


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