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DVD Review: Cedar Rapids

June 21, 2011

Cedar Rapids – A 20th Century Fox Release

http://www.foxsearchlight.com/cedarrapids/

DVD Release Date: June 21st, 2011

Rated 14A for coarse language, substance abuse and crude content

Running time: 87 minutes

Miguel Arteta (dir.)

Phil Johnston (writer)

Christophe Beck (music)

Ed Helms as Tim Lippe

John C. Reilly as Dean Ziegler

Anne Heche as Joan Ostrowski-Fox

Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Ronald Wilkes

Sigourney Weaver as Macy Vanderhei

Our reviews below:

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Cedar Rapids DVD Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

The delightfully naive Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) is an insurance agent in the small town of Brown Valley, Wisconsin, who gets an invite to attend an annual insurance conference in the slightly bigger city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Competing for the coveted two-diamond award, he meets a crude but well-meaning party animal, Dean Ziegler (John C. Reilly), and finds himself falling for the sexy and mysterious Joan (Anne Heche).  Memorable substance-fueled shenanigans ensue, but the film is ultimately a charming journey of self-discovery for the shy Tim Lippe, as he finally starts to come of age in his early-30’s.

Director Miguel Arteta’s Cedar Rapids is a character and story driven comedy, with big laughs born out of natural situations.  The film is carried by a uniformly excellent cast, including Isiah Whitlock Jr. in a supporting role and a few scenes with Sigourney Weaver.  It’s got a heart and sincerity in its portrayal of the likable main characters, with a genuine emotional arc added to the hilarity of their stories.  Providing a fun take on a familiar story only with the “big city” being a small town, those looking for a smart little comedy with some memorably funny scenes should book a trip to Cedar Rapids.

The Blu-ray “Super Awesome Edition” includes deleted scenes, a gag reel as well as several featurettes.

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Cedar Rapids DVD Review by Erin V.  

***1/4 (out of 4)

In Cedar Rapids, Ed Helms plays Tim Lippe, an insurance agent from Brown Star Insurance in Wisconsin.  When he is sent to the big ASMI convention in Cedar Rapids – after the original agent slated to go dies unexpectedly – the film becomes a coming-of-age story of sorts as Tim has his first experiences in the ‘big’ city.

This one surprised me as being more mature and intelligent than the trailers suggested.  I enjoyed it – it’s not too long and the characters are likable and believable.  Well worth a rental.

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Cedar Rapids DVD Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

Cedar Rapids is a charming film about a small town insurance agent in the “big city.”  Ed Helms stars as Tim Lippe, a lovably naive insurance agent who works for Brownstar, an insurance company in Brown Valley, Wisconsin.  Every year, one of Brownstar’s agents wins the Two Diamond Award given in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  For several years, that award has gone to agent Roger Lemke (Thomas Lennon).  But when Lemke dies an untimely and rather unusual death, Tim is sent to Cedar Rapids in his place.

Unlike many comedies for mature audiences, Cedar Rapids is not driven by overt crude or sexual content.  The humour lies solely in the sheer innocence of Tim Lippe as he navigates the world.  This is a quirky independent film that is definitely worth seeing.

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Cedar Rapids DVD Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

Insurance agents and companies aren’t usually thought of as a source entertainment and humour.  Cedar Rapids is a smartly written, well-acted and funny look at a group of insurance agents attending the highlight of their small-town lives, the annual insurance convention (ASMI) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Ed Helms plays Tim Lippe, a naive but likable 34-year-old insurance agent in Brown Valley, Wisconsin.  His life is simple.  He works hard at his job and considers himself pre-engaged to his older lover, Macy (Sigourney Weaver).  When his colleague, Roger (Thomas Lennon) unexpectedly dies, Tim is told he now has to head off to the convention and secure the coveted two diamond award for his company.  The results are charming and funny as Tim discovers things about himself in the relatively bigger city.

Ed Helms is wonderful as the awkward and naive Tim.  The supporting cast is also excellent.  John C. Reilly as the loud-mouthed Dean Ziegler is the perfect foil leading Tim into all kinds of trouble at the convention.  More serious roommate, Ronald Wilkes (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and the ‘one of the guys’ Joan (Anne Heche) round out the party as they all become fast friends and partners in alcohol-fueled convention mischief.

Cedar Rapids is a character-driven adult comedy that works because of the excellent cast.  The story has a certain charm to it without resorting to gross or overly raunchy visual gags to let us know it’s a comedy.  Check this one out, especially if you are a fan of any of the fine cast members.

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Cedar Rapids DVD Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

Tim Lippe (rhymes with hippie) is a small town insurance agent sent to Cedar Rapids for a convention. As that rarest of agents that values service over sales, he is chosen by his boss Bill (Stephen Root) to go and pitch the association president Orin (Kurtwood Smith) for an excellence award after the usual delegate Roger (Thomas Lennon) suddenly dies under compromising circumstances. At 34, Tim is still single, but considers himself “pre-engaged” to his middle school teacher Macy (Sigourney Weaver) who visits once a week. At the convention he shares a room with the straight-shooting Ronald (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and licentious Dean (John C. Reilly), and befriends a working girl named Bree (Alia Shawkat) and fellow agent Joan (Anne Heche), on a hall pass from her family. He soon realizes that all is not as it seems, particularly with the hypocritical Orin, but in the end manages to survive with the help of his new friends.

Cedar Rapids has an excellent cast and extremely witty script, with believable characters who each have their own distinctive voices, including the sweet naïveté of Tim, slickness of Ronald, dominance of Macy, profanity of Bill, class of Ronald, vulgarity of Dean, street-smarts of Bree, coquettishness of Joan, and sanctimoniousness of Orin. The story is always engaging, really funny, and full of heart, sure to please on repeated viewings.

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Consensus: With a smart script, likable characters and excellent performances from a strong cast headed by Ed Helms, Cedar Rapids is a charming little comedy with a lot of heart and plenty of big laughs.  *** (Out of 4)

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