Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cedar Rapids

When promoting comedies, a regular complaint is that the actual film is not as funny as the previews. With Cedar Rapids, we have a rare instance where the film is funnier than its previews. Cedar Rapids revolves around a naive insurance salesman, played by Ed Helms with that social awkwardness he seems to specialize in, who has never left his hometown. He is currently in a relationship with one of his grade school teachers (Sigourney Weaver) and actually thinks there's a future there. When his company's top agent dies in a strange accident, he must report to the annual Midwestern insurance convention where he holds the responsibility of maintaining the company's two diamond status. While there, employing the fish-out-of-water plot, he will meet three fellow salespeople (John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) who show him a good time and help him to come out of his shell. Cedar Rapids is a raunchy comedy which benefits from Reilly's performance as a crude womanizer and Heche as a woman who has a fling with Helms. There are genuine laughs here and the earnestness of the main character and underlying sweetness of the film help to make this one a winner.