Cedar Rapids

February 11th 2011
  • Comedy,
  • R,
  • 86 min,
  • Fox Searchlight
  • Cast: Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Stephen Root, Kurtwood Smith, Alia Shawkat, Rob Corddry, Mike O'Malley, Sigourney Weaver, Inga R. Wilson, Mike Birbiglia, Seth Morris, Chris DiAngelo, Lindsey Alexandra Hartley, Welker White, John Djurovski, Charlie Sanders, Craig Janos, Steve Blackwood, Lise Lacasse, Zackary Hamlin, Michael Buie, Victor Pytko
  • Director: Miguel Arteta
  • Writer: Phil Johnston
  • Producers: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
  • Co Producer: Brian Bell
  • Executive Producer: Ed Helms
  • Costume Design: Hope Hanafin
  • D.O.P.: Chuy Chávez
  • Editor: Eric Kissack
  • Makeup: Roz Music
  • Music: Christophe Beck
  • Production Design: Doug J. Meerdink
  • Set Decoration: Jeanette Scott


Tim Lippe (Helms) was the guy people always thought would go places but then he just ... didn't. He's been living in über-sleepy Brown Valley, Wisconsin his whole life, still "pre-engaged" to his 7th grade teacher Millie Vanderhei (Weaver), while selling insurance to protect other people's dreams.

But now, Tim's stalled life is about to get a kick-start because, for the first time in his 34 years, he's headed to a "major" metropolis - Cedar Rapids, Iowa - where he must try to save his company at a do-or-die insurance convention that, for him, will be entirely nonconventional. From the minute he checks into his hotel with his ancient American Tourister and cummerbund money-belt, it's clear Tim has no idea how the modern world really works.

He is soon smitten with seductive Nebraskan insurance agent Joan (Heche) and awed by his experienced roommates, the straight-shooting Wilkes (Whitlock Jr.) and the suspicious Zeigler (Reilly). Disheartened when he comes face-to-face with corporate corruption, Tim is ultimately lured beyond the lobby into an urban jungle he's only ever seen on DVD and when it seems his life - and chances to succeed - have gone completely topsy-turvy, he finds his own unjaded way to turn it all around.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Filming Locations: Michigan, USA
  • MPAA Warning: Crude and sexual content, language and drug use.
  • Production Companies: Ad Hominem Enterprises
  • Production Schedule: November 2009

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2011 Guide Analysis: "After modest success with "The Good Girl" back in 2002 and an outright critical and commercial flop with last year's Michael Cera-led comedy "Youth in Revolt", director Miguel Arteta tries out this broad comedy with former "The Daily Show" correspondent and "The Hangover" star Ed Helms. The Sundance Film Festival people certainly saw something they liked as 'Cedar' is set to get its world premiere in Utah next month where its reception will likely play a big part in how its release a few weeks later will be handled.

Certainly with cast members like Reilly, Heche and Weaver on hand, there's a lot of hope that this could be a fun time so long as the humour avoids playing it either too safe or silly. Unlike 'Youth', which fell victim to the internal problems of distributor The Weinstein Company, 'Cedar' is in safe hands with Fox Searchlight though the relatively limited theatrical run means word of mouth will be crucial here."

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