Review: Cedar Rapids (2011)

Ed Helms finally gets his chance in getting the lead in a film. After being recognised in The Office (US version), Helms would be universally known in being in comedy hit The Hangover and playing a part in the not so known The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard.
Helms plays Tim Lippe’s naive and nerd like character well, because in some respects that was the same kinda roll in The Hangover but he does it well. Lippe meets an entourage of seasoned insurance agents while at Cedar Rapids which begins in his eyes changes his world.

John C. Reilly plays Dean Ziegler which Reilly excels at. He’s not exactly challenging himself but its a role that is familiar to him from films like Step Brothers and Talladega Nights. But for what the character is needed it works and Reilly can pull off those brass, rude, drunk yet likeable roles. He’s not hilarious in it but he does get some good lines in a decent script.

Isiah Whitlock Jr. who plays Ronald Wilkes is kind of the sensible one of the group, well in comparison to Dean Ziegler. Whitlock Jr. is actually really good in it, it added extra humour to the film especially if you’ve watched the HBO show ‘The Wire’. He was quite a major character in the HBO show, but his character of Ronald Wilkes is a self-described Wire fan in the film and does impressions of another Wire character called ‘Omar Little’. If your a huge Wire fan than this would really tickle your funny bones as it did me and was a priceless moment.

Anne Heche is Joan Ostrowski-Fox, guess she’s like the female version of Ziegler but a little tamer and better morals. She calls the convention her ‘other life’ and what stays in Cedar Rapids stays in Cedar Rapids. Heche is quite foxy in this film and is refreshing to see her more relaxed in a comedy film.

Overall I enjoyed the film a lot. It’s funny and crass but also has heart to it as well. Often films try pull this off at once and it doesn’t quite work but in this case it has. It’s also refreshing to see a comedy that isn’t in ‘The Hangover’ mould and tries to be a bit smarter. It’s likeable film which reflects the cast and a great script. I think it could of been funnier but I haven’t got too many complaints other than that. It’s a great star vehicle for Ed Helms and hopefully we’ll see more of him in a lead role.


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