With an indie feel, this little gem might slip by with all those wonderful March movies in the theater. Why? Ed Helms is the main star with some help from John C. Reilly and Anne Heche. Oh, and I might mention it takes place in the mid-west about insurance salesmen at a convention.
|Ed's Tom Lippe who's never really had a vacation|
How can that be funny? I won't say Ed's Tim Lippe is hilarious, but he is so sweet and naive. Yet, not over the top. Tim is truly Ed's character. I don't think anyone else could possibly make him more real than Ed Helm. He just has a knack for that sort of almost 40 year old virgin without it being a joke. He has honesty and integrity to go on. Even so, back home he's banging his teacher from middle school who's retired now, Sigourney Weaver who's Macy. Honestly, every character in this movie has some insight to offer, even Macy. There of course, is John C. Reilly's Dean Ziegler - who is the fowl mouthed character we've come to know as a trade mark of Reilly's. There is also the genuinely gracious Ronald played by the deep voiced Isiah Whitlock Jr. They all meet at Cedar Rapids at an insurance convention. Throw in Anne Heche's Joan(another insurance saleperson ready to hook up) and Alia Shawkat as the local fun girl, and you've got an off-beat cast that is taking you on a trip you won't forget.
The movie is directed by Miguel Arteta who's had the magic touch with YOUTH IN REVOLT and THE GOOD GIRL. He's also gotten us addicted to such favorite show as in Freaks and Geeks and The Office. But Ed Helms truly shows us he can hold his own being the major lead in a movie. I have to admit, he had me laughing and crying all in a 90 second span. There is just something endearing about his characters. He was definitely real in this film.
It really is one of my favorite movies this year.
STORYLINE: Tim Lippe (Helms) was the guy people always thought would go places but then he just ... didn't. He's been living in über-sleepy Brown Valley, Wisconsin his whole life, still "pre-engaged" to his 7th grade teacher Macy Vanderhei (Weaver), while selling insurance to protect other people's dreams. But now, Tim's stalled life is about to get a kick-start because, for the first time in his 34 years, he's headed to a "major" metropolis - Cedar Rapids, Iowa - where he must try to save his company at a do-or-die insurance convention that, for him, will be entirely nonconventional. From the minute he checks into his hotel with his ancient American Tourister and cummerbund money-belt, it's clear Tim has no idea how the modern world really works. He is soon smitten with seductive Nebraskan insurance agent Joan (Heche) and awed by his experienced roommates, the straight-shooting Wilkes (Whitlock Jr.) and the suspicious Zeigler (Reilly)