Spot the Wisconsin: Cedar Rapids

21 Sep

Cedar Rapids delivers a hilarious mix of hijinks, heart and… Wisconsin

Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids

In the 2011 film Cedar Rapids, Tim Lippe (Ed Helms from The Office) is a policy salesman for a seemingly righteous insurance company in fictional Brown Valley, Wisconsin.  Sheltered and innocent and still living at home in his boyhood bedroom, Tim’s greatest aspirations are to make things official with his lover, recent liberated divorcee and his former high school teacher, Macy Vanderhei (Sigourney Weaver) and to build a greenhouse with the help of Fleet Farm.  When his insurance company decides, at the last minute, to send him to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to represent them in their corporate convention, Tim is thrust into an unfamiliar “big city” world and struggles to find his place in the magic of the experience.  Tim falls into a crowd of convention regulars, including bad influence Dean Ziegler (John C. Reilly), adventurous family woman Joan Ostrowski-Fox (Anne Heche) and straight-laced Ronald Wilkes (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) who help him cope with the vanishing facades of his life.

Cedar Rapids effectively combines comedy, drama and buddy film genres to create story that’s full of relatable humanity.  The comedy is funny but not hokey, the drama is earnest but not melodramatic and the buddiness is hilarious but not stupid, crafting a film which is hysterically funny at one turn and wonderously surprising in its authenticity at the next.  Recommendation:  Yes!

Spot the Wisconsin:  When Sigoruney Weaver sends Ed Helms off to the small airport to catch his flight to Cedar Rapids, their goodbye is filmed in front of a sign in the parking lot that says “Rhinelander Regional Airport” — cheers to Kata for pointing this out!

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