Cedar Rapids DVD Review: The Vegas Of The Midwest

If it’s got Ed Helms in, then I know I have to see it. If it’s Fox Searchlight, then I have to see it. This mentality has not failed me yet, and it certainly didn’t fail me with Cedar Rapids.

Cedar Rapids stars Ed Helms (as Tim Lippe) and John C. Reilly (as Dean Ziegler) along with a landslide of other recognizable faces including Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver, Kurtwood Smith, and many others. Tim is an insurance salesman in a small town, and after a colleague passes away in a rather awkward and disturbing accident – Tim finds himself taking his place in the big town of Cedar Rapids for an insurance convention. Innocent Tim soon finds himself befriending a prostitute, skinny dipping and getting-it-on with a married lady, doing drugs, getting in a fight… The list goes on. One thing that is for sure is that Tim’s life is going to be forever changed by this weekend in Cedar Rapids.

I have to say that Helms reminded me a lot of Steve Carell in The 40 Year Virgin. Helms may not be a virgin in Cedar Rapids, but he’s certainly as naive and innocent – until corrupted by his friends. In general, I feel like Helms is going to be the next Steve Carell – which will be a good thing for The Office next season. He’s certainly as talented and as gifted with awkward humor – and man… can that guy sing!? (Yes, you get to hear Helm’s chops again in this one!)

In a way, this plot would be the tamed-down version of what would happen if Helms and the rest of the cast from The Hangover went to an insurance convention in a small Midwestern town. There’s a similar camaraderie among the characters and just as much obnoxious and offensive humor – though, thankfully, not as much nudity…. though we do get see Helm’s backside. There’s even a reference to what happens in Cedar Rapids… stays in Cedar Rapids.

Overall, Cedar Rapids has a great cast and a great story, and it’s just what you would expect from Fox Searchlight – a little dark in places, lots of laughs, and a hopeful and happy ending.

Special features include deleted scenes, a gag reel, and a number of featurettes such as ‘Wedding Belles – Crashing A Lesbian Weeding’, ‘Mike O’ Malley – Urban Clogger’, and more!

Grade: B

Buy On Cedar Rapids [Blu-ray]

Review By: Emma Loggins

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