Cedar Rapids

If you have seen the trailer for the new comedy “Cedar Rapids” then you do not have to see the movie. I knew exactly what was going to happen, with one minor exception, from having been shown the “Cedar Rapids” trailer seemingly every time I went to an AMC movie theatre over the past few months. The trailer sums up the story and even includes the film’s final moment. The “Cedar Rapids” story is actually a very easy one to encapsulate, as there is little material to begin with, and what story there is we have already seen a thousand times.

If you have seen actor John C. Reilly play one of his loud, raucous, wacky characters (“Cyrus,” “Taladega Nights,” “Walk Hard”), then you can also live a good and full life without seeing “Cedar Rapids.” Reilly is not the main character, but rather a nutty side character. In real world terms, Reilly represents the indie film cliché of the higher profile actor who has decided to be in a low budget indie because he most likely found the script just too endearing to pass up. God only knows why or how.

The main character is Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) a naïve, repressed Wisconsin insurance agent, in his late thirties – early forties, who has gone nowhere in life. Having never been out of his small town Wisconsin existence, he now has to represent his insurance company at a convention in the big time: Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Yes, Tim is out of his league, but it’s a reasonable bet that by film’s end he will learn to loosen up and grow up with the help of various eccentric characters he meets along the way.

If you somehow missed the ubiquitous trailer but have seen a few quirky, indie, “festival darling” films, you can also skip “Cedar Rapids.” In fact my ribs are still sore from the movie constantly, metaphorically nudging me in the side as if to say “See, I am a quirky independent film,” nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

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About unpaidfilmcritic

Up until 2009 Seth Shire spent nearly two decades in the New York film industry as a post production supervisor of feature films. Highlights include working on the films of Martin Scorsese, James Toback and Spike Lee. Since leaving the film industry Seth has expanded into new and varied areas where he has found a great deal of satisfaction. Seth currently teaches in the Sociology Department of CUNY Queens College. His courses include "Mass Media and Popular Culture," "Introduction to Sociology," and "Sociology of Cinema" where he is a very popular teacher. Seth is also the film critic for "Town & Village," a Manhattan weekly newspaper, a position he has held for the past six years. Seth gives back to his community through volunteer teaching at Manhattan's "The Caring Community," a center for senior citizens, where he teaches a very popular course on documentaries called "The Golden Age of the Documentary. In the fall of 2010 Seth taught "Critical Reading and Writing" at Parsons School of Design. He has also taught "Cinema Studies" at the New York Film Academy. Seth lives in Stuyvesant Town, in Manhattan.

Posted on February 17, 2011, in New. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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