23 July 2011

Movies: Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids (2011) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1477837/

Comedy about Tim Lippe, small-town insurance agent. Yes, Tim grew up in that small town and has never been away. His hopes and dreams and world view are all as small as the town he lives in. But circumstances require he go to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to represent his insurance company at an annual insurance convention. He meets some folks and gets exposed to a world much bigger and darker than he ever imagined.  Thus we watch Tim transform from a naive man-child into a somewhat worldly man-young adult.

Stars Ed Helms as Tim Lippe. You probably remember him from The Hangover, The Office, a crazy one-episode bit in Wilfred. Plus there's John C. Reilly (from practically everything), Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Stephen Root (again, recognizable from practically everything), Kurtwood Smith, Sigourney Weaver, Rob Corddry and a slew of other recognizable comics and comedic actors.

It was a cute story. Written well with a good cast, acted well, filmed well, paced and put together well. I really enjoyed this film. I think I smiled through the whole thing. Smiled out of sheer continuing amusement. The story just unfolds and the funny naturally happens because the cast delivers so well. The comedy isn't entirely in the background. There's a healthy mix of nuanced comedy with a few 'blue' comedy bits tossed in as well.
I think what helped the film work was the story and characters are somewhat layered. Instead of a one-note film populated with one-dimensional stereotype characters the main character and the immediate supporting cast all get a few extra layers that mix some tragedy with the comedy. Casting the other comedic actors and comedians in even minor one-dimensional supporting roles helped keep the right ambiance for the film.

Definitely worth watching, didn't feel like I wasted time on it at all.

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