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Cedar Rapids (2011)

Updated on July 8, 2020

Cedar Rapids (2011) review

This was a quirky fun movie, which is perfect if you’re in the right mood. It was definitely a nice change of pace from what I have been watching lately. It had all the elements of a great comedy and it was very entertaining. I did have a few issues with it, and I could see where the masses might reject this one based on its faults. There were some funny moments though, and overall I had a great time watching it.

Cedar Rapids (2011) was written by Phil Johnston and directed by Miguel Arteta. It stars Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche and Sigourney Weaver. Tim Lippe (Harris) is an insurance agent in a small town in Wisconsin. He is very naive and has never left his small town. When the top insurance rep in his company suddenly dies, it is up to Tim to go to the insurance convention in Cedar Rapids and win the prestigious two diamond award to save his company. It is time for Tim to start living outside of his comfort zone.

Ed Helms is a great actor and a hilarious comedic force. He starred for many years in one of my favorite TV series The Office (2005) and he was brilliant. I also really enjoyed John C. Reilly, he stole the show in every scene he was in. The story was just entertaining enough to work,but the funny moments were few and far between. There were a couple things I didn’t like, to be honest. The character of Ron, one of Tim’s roommates at the convention, was a very boring character. The actor didn’t really have any charisma, he was just so bland. The movie would have been better as a whole without him, in my opinion. Also, an insurance convention is a weird setting for a comedy. There is nothing funny about insurance or conventions. It was kind of a stupid premise to start with.

This was entertaining enough to be a decent ,light-hearted comedy, and honestly a little better than I thought it would be.. Just don’t expect anything special.

Cast trivia

  • Isiah Whitlock Jr.’s character Ronald Wilke references the character Omar from the TV series The Wire (2002). Whitlock played a role in the series. According to Whitlock, The Wire (2002) references were in the script before he was cast.
  • The name of the young call girl, Bree, is an allusion to the movie Klute (1971), where Jane Fonda plays a call girl named Bree Daniels, and becomes romantically involved with a private eye, played by Donald Sutherland.

Anne Heche, John C. Reilly, Ed Helms and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.

production trivia

  • Originally the film was intended to be shot on location in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. However due to the failure of a film production tax credit, they had to move filming to Ann Arbor, Michigan where they were provided a 42% tax rebate for filming there.
  • The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2009 Blacklist; a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year.
  • Cedar Rapids (2011) was released on March 18, 2011. It was made with a 10 million dollar budget and the worldwide box office take was a little over 7.7 million dollars.
  • Cedar Rapids (2011) won the National Board of Review award in 2011 for being one of the top ten independent films that year.


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