Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cedar Rapids

Tim Lippe lives a purposefully sheltered life. He’s never left his hometown (not even temporarily). He still lives in the home he grew up in and his bedroom looks just like it did when he was a little boy. He’s never really dated and lives a life of blissful ignorance. All of a sudden, the winds of change come blowing into Tim’s life and topples his quiet, sheltered little deck of cards he calls living. First, one of his 7th grade teachers takes him on a date and they sleep together. He thinks he’s found love, but she tells him, hey, they’re both adults, she’s recently divorced and she thought they were just having fun. This is not in his wheelhouse.

Then, his supervisor at work abruptly passes away under scandalous circumstances and his boss asks Tim to go to the annual convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in his supervisor’s place. The death, the one-night-stand, the trip out of town to a ‘big city,’ (including his first trip on a plane) all serve to shake up his mundane routine of life something fierce. So how does this Ned Flanders wannabe handle it? Well, watch and laugh.

This isn’t the most original of stories; we’ve all seen this sort of movie, where the naïve country kid has a wild, unexpected time in the big city, but it doesn’t mean Cedar Rapids isn’t enjoyable. The writing is pretty good and the visuals are mostly standard fare. What raises this flick above the fray are the performances. Just about every role is filled by an actor giving a heartwarming and hilarious performance, especially John C. Reilly and Ed Helms. There’s not a dud in the bunch. While it’s not the greatest flick out there and certainly isn’t groundbreaking, it’s enjoyable and full of more than a couple laughs.


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