Cedar Rapids (2011) starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Stephen Root, Kurtwood Smith, Alia Shawkat, Thomas Lennon directed by Miguel Arteta Movie Review

Cedar Rapids (2011)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Ed Helms in Cedar Rapids (2011)

Conventionally Unconventional

Honest Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) has lived in sleepy Brown Valley, Wisconsin all his life and after leaving High School started work selling insurance but as a nice guy only selling it with the customers interests at heart. Also at heart is his former grade school teacher (Sigourney Weaver) who he is dating in a "pre-engaged" stage as he likes to call it. But then Tim is sent to Cedar Rapids for an important business conference which is a big thing for Tim as he is never left Brown Valley. Having arrived in Cedar Rapids Tim's eyes are opened to a vary different world full of parties, drinking, sex and drugs all of which brings Tim out of his shell with a little help from some friends he makes at the convention.

"Cedar Rapids" is one of those comedies which have an amusing idea; all but one which is borrowed from other movies, but then fails to do anything with it to make it funny. Now some may disagree with me but then humour is subjective and it is a case that the humour in "Cedar Rapids" left me wondering what else I could be doing rather than sitting through this. I almost get a sense that gags such as Tim sleeping with one of his former teachers who pats his hair down like a mother amused the writers yet did little for me. I could go on because from Tim not knowing how to check in to not knowing a prostitute when he sees one just kept on falling flat time and again.

But despite the constant lack of laughs what worked for me the idea itself of Tim being a fish out of water is fun because we have a group of friends who he makes in Cedar Rapids. Someone once compared this set up to the "Wizard of Oz" with each of these characters with specific traits and issues but there to help Tim and when thought of in that way it is a fun idea. Unfortunately the subtlety of this set up is zero and when I say John C. Reilly is one of those friends, a fellow insurance agent you can probably guess he plays it loud and obnoxious and frankly annoying.

What this all boils down to is that "Cedar Rapids" just didn't do it for me with a decent idea but comedy which rarely made me laugh and more often than not made me think about what else I could be doing.