Cedar Rapids is a mostly funny, slightly predictable comedy starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and directed by Miguel Arteta.
Ed Helms takes the lead as very innocent and naive insurance salesman Tim Lippe. From a small town in Wisconsin, Lippe’s boss informs him that he will be leaving the state to attend an annual insurance convention held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His boss tells him that he must obtain the prestigious “Two Diamond” award being sought after by many other insurance companies.
Helms does an amazing job of capturing his character’s innocence without overplaying it and keeping it realistic.
It is after he checks into the Cedar Rapids hotel that he meets his two roommates, Dean Ziegler (played by John C. Reilly) and Ronald Wilkes (played by Isiah Whitlock Jr.). Lippe’s boss forbade him from hanging around Ziegler – so right off the bat there is a funny tension created between the roommates.
Lippe’s boss informs him that Ziegler is a poacher and to not trust him. After all, he did steal a client from them – or so Lippe thought. Throughout the movie there are many twists and turns, including many scandalous discoveries made mostly by Lippe. He becomes unraveled and changes his loyalty many different times. Even with such a loaded story line, the movie still leaves viewers with a very expected, predictable ending.
Helms, Reilly and Whitlock Jr. are a great comedy team who work together effortlessly and make the movie flow with ease. The three of them are able to make the audience laugh without trying too hard and they keep the jokes rolling – without getting dull.
Anne Heche plays a laid-back insurance saleswoman. She is “one of the guys” and isn’t afraid to have a lot of fun throughout the movie. Her character, Joan Ostrowski-Fox, meets up with Lippe at the convention and starts shaking things up when she gets him to start doing several things he would never do at home in Wisconsin.
This movie is a great success with a great cast that just works. They all play their characters perfectly and create a cast that is constantly funny – and who end up relying on each other when things go wrong.
There are many excellent cameo appearances, which had the audience laughing and cheering at the mere sight of them – before any lines were delivered.
With its many unexpected twists and hilarious stars, this is a comedy that works. The ending could have been better – but it kept the audience laughing throughout.