I met my wife in Dubuque Iowa 38 years ago so I know the potential for shenanigans and personal growth in that state’s River Towns. “Cedar Rapids” provides all that and more for Tim Lippe, brilliantly played by the “Office” and “Hangover” star Ed Helms . Helms knows how to play the Man-Child better than anyone and his naive insurance salesman is plucked from his small town in Wisconsin to represent his agency at the big regional awards conference in Cedar Rapids. Tim Lippe has an idealized concept of the insurance salesman as hero, and is about to find out that not everyone shares his idealism. Every actor involved is at the top of his game here including Anne Heche as a cougar-like Joan Ostrowski-Fox looking to Tim for a fun escape from domestic doldrums, and Stephen Root (“Office Space”) as Tim’s apoplectic boss, Sigourney Weaver as Tim’s motherly ex grade school teacher and now weekly boy-toy, but special kudos go to Tim’s hotel bunk mates, John C. Reilly as the profane party animal, Dean Zeigler, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. as the buttoned down person of color, Ronald Wilkes. Reilly is wonder with a constant barrage of funny, obscene observations with out diminishing the basic humanity of “The Deanster”. when Tim gets involved with the eventual convention shenanigans in pursuit of the coveted 2 Diamond Award (he discovers booze, drugs, and hookers), his new mates have his back. Frank Capra would be proud of the ending. The tone is pitch perfect throughout thanks to a great script by Phil Johnston. “Cedar Rapids” is like a “best-of” mash-up of “The Office”,”Sideways” and “The 40 Year Old Virgin”.
My GPA is 3.8