Friday, July 8, 2011

Cedar Rapids - DVD Review


Starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Stephen Root, Kurtwood Smith, Alia Shawkat, Rob Corddry, Mike O'Malley and Thomas Lennon. Directed by Miguel Arteta.

I'm surprised this didn't get a wider release when it came out. You'd think Ed Helms, of Hangover and Office fame, starring in a well-reviewed movie would've earned a wider rollout.

Helms has a genuine sweetness to him as an honest, naive insurance agent. He grew up in a small town, but for the first time he's venturing to the big city - Cedar Rapids - for an insurance convention. He's been warned to steer clear of Dean Ziegler (John C. Reilly), a bad influence from a rival agency. Naturally at the convention, they're made roommates at the hotel.

The ads made it look like Cedar Rapids might go to wild-and-crazy Hangover-esque debauchery levels, but it's a smaller film, and while Helms's life is turned upside-down on one trip, it's more about the country mouse trying to survive in the big city, with the tongue firmly in cheek that Cedar Rapids is a big city.

It's a good supporting cast too. I liked Sigourney Weaver as Helms's lover/former teacher, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. as the nerdy black agent who uses his knowledge of HBO's The Wire to intimidate white folks who rarely see black folks.

It's not a gut-busting movie; it's a smile-a-lot movie.

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