Friday, February 11, 2011

Cedar Rapids [w/ Ed Helms Q&A]

Cedar Rapids is funny. That's the top priority. You have to laugh. Ed Helms and John C. Reilly are great. But as I watched this film, I was more impressed by the supporting cast. Everyone here is top notch. Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet), Anne Heche, Stephen Root, Kurtwood Smith, Alia Shawkat (Maeby Funke), Rob Corddry (in a very subtle performance), Sigourney Weaver...all great. The director Miguel Arteta is responsible for the equally funny Youth In Revolt last year.

The story follows a sheltered small town Wisconsinite who is called up to the big "City of Five Seasons" for the AMSI Insurance Convention. Yes, Cedar Rapids, IA. The Big City. You are not misreading that. You might think that since I'm a native Iowan I might be predisposed to like a movie about Iowa.

But trivia fact number one, the movie did not shoot in Iowa. I asked the question at the Q&A and was told by Miguel that they were planning to shoot there, but as they got deeper into pre-production, another film started renting most of the trailers and equipment in the state. So they had to take their road show to Ann Arbor, MI.

Trivia fact numero dos, those jokes from the trailer where Isiah Whitlock Jr talks about The Wire (of which he was a recurring cast member), those jokes were in the script prior to Isiah getting the role. Also of note, when Isiah was hired Ed Helms fought hard to get those jokes removed. He felt it was too on the nose and would take people out of the movie.

Fun fact number three: you know Ed Helms. He plays button down, preppy, somewhat timid characters (i.e. The Office, The Hangover, etc) well he's not like that at all. He himself proclaimed himself to be a jaded, cynical bastard (paraphrasing). Which makes his acting work all that more impressive. He's also quite a bit more handsome than I noticed before.

For the movie itself, I hope it finds an audience. It feels very honest and not too broad, but still has a generous amount of belly laughs. If you're not seeing Oscar nominated films this weekend, then you should definitely see Cedar Rapids.

Did you enjoy it?
Very Much

Would you see it in theaters again?
I Would

Would you buy it?
Probably Not

Would you rent it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
Of Course


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