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Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids: Indie-Comedy Misses the Mark

  • Anne HecheEd Helms...
  • Comedy
  • Out now
  • Miguel Arteta
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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Cedar Rapids: Indie-Comedy Misses the Mark

Tim Lippe
(Helms) is an insurance salesman whose gullibility and sense of idealism is not
befitting of his occupation. Tim is sent to represent his company in a
convention as a replacement for a recently deceased colleague that he idolised.
He is under pressure to secure the coveted Two Diamond award at the convention;
an award that his former workmate Roger had won for three years in a row.

He becomes acquainted
Ron (Witlock Jr), Dean (O’Reilly)  and
Joan (Heche), and he has to come to the realisation that his company’s
future rests on him winning the award.

It’s surprising
to have such a poorly produced indie comedy starring Ed Helms (one of the
breakout stars of The Hangover) and John C. Reilly, who is well-known
for his flexibility in both drama and comedy. It’s a shame then that these two
talents are wasted in Cedar Rapids.
There’s a fine line between the dry and blunt humour of an indie-comedy, and
the dryness and bluntness of an uninspired script. The film is pallid, unfunny
and lacks any memorable scenes, even though the actors do their best to keep
the film interesting. However, the weak script and poor direction drag the film

’s plot is also uninteresting. The problem with the film starts with the character of Tim.
It doesn’t make any sense that his character is foolish and reckless from start
to finish, considering that this is his
lifetime opportunity; it simply prevents the audience from emphasizing with the
lead character. The script fails to create any kind of likeability or empathy
despite having such a naive and innocent canvas of a character. Ill-advised
decisions come with the package of a goofy character, and we as an audience should
want to root for him. His constant ridiculous nonsensical behaviour makes this
impossible, and you may well find yourself throwing your arms in the air with frustration.

Looking at the
positives, Heche’s character is a seductive and likeable character who fits
perfectly into the role of the main character’s eventual love interest.  

It appears that
Ed Helms had some time on his hands between the Hangover films, so he
decided to take on this role to waste some time. Sadly, it’s nothing near his
other comedic works.

Like This? Try

Horrible Bosses, Role Models, Due Date.

360 Tip

Director Miguel Arteta is commonly known for his TV works and series, such as Ugly Betty and The Office.

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