Like my book reviews site, these are movie reviews I write for entertainment purposes only. These are just my reviews and my opinions. They are not endorsed by Blogger or any movie studios or anyone else. So there. I borrowed my scoring system from the Metacritic site, which does not imply an endorsement from them, although I think they do have a very nice website. I convert the 1-100 scores into 1-4 stars, essentially it works like this:

1 star = 25 points
2 stars = 50 points
3 stars = 75 points
4 stars = 100 points

And then if something falls about halfway between, then I'll give it an added half-star.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cedar Rapids

I knew when I heard about this that I would probably like that movie.  The reason is that I could best describe it as "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" meets "Up in the Air" and I really liked both movies.  If you do too then you'll probably also like this.

The plot involves a 40-ish year old insurance agent who's not a virgin named Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) who works for BrownStar Insurance in Brown Valley, Wisconsin.  He's worked for BrownStar since he was 17 but is overshadowed by his coworker Roger, who's one the prestigious Two Diamond Award twice. 

But then Roger dies in a perverse way and it's up to Tim to go to the insurance industry conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (really Ann Arbor, Michigan, woo hoo!) to win the award for a third time.  He leaves his girlfriend, his old teacher (Sigourney Weaver, who at this point I did not want to see having sex) and gets on a plane for the first time.  Boarding a plane for the first time is kind of scary and nerve-wracking, especially doing it after 2001 with all the paranoia and extra security.  More probably could have been made of this scenario.

Anyway, when Tim lands in Cedar Rapids he runs into a prostitute named Bree outside.  He of course doesn't know what she is and gives her a butterscotch.  He's meets his first black person ever inside the room.  Ronald (Isaiah Whitlock) owns his own insurance company and like Tim is a total dork.  Due to overbooking, they have to take on a third roommate, Dean Ziegler (John C Reilly), whom Tim was warned to stay away from by his boss.  And we soon see why as Dean is the polar opposite of Tim:  boisterous, cussing, and hitting on everything in sight.  Later in the fitness center Tim meets the fourth member of their ensemble, Joan (an unrecognizable Anne Heche) who if you've seen "Up in the Air" is basically the Vera Farmiga character. 

It doesn't take long for Tim to start being turned to the dark side.  It all begins with some cream sherry in the bar.  (Cream sherry, the Devil's nectar!)  Soon he's doing all sorts of things he never thought he would do.  The most serious of which is finding out the truth behind Roger's awards the past two years and about his boss's plans for the company.

I thought a lot of this movie was hilarious, in the same way as "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" in that it's fun watching a straight arrow turn to the dark side.  Something sadistic in our nature.  It's just funny as Tim encounters alcohol, drugs, and sex and tries to reconcile them with his Ned Flanders world view.

What the movie lacks is a good love interest for Tim.  We know Sigourney Weaver is too old for him.  We know Anne Heche is married.  And we know the prostitute is a prostitute.  Since those are the only options available, you wind up missing something on the romantic front.  They needed some cute assistant at the office or something he had ignored for him to end up with.  Maybe it's in the deleted scenes.

Anyway, this is a fun movie and mercifully short and just about 85 minutes.  Make sure to watch the first half of the credits for a couple of bonus scenes.  If you work in an office and like adult humor then this is a good bet.

That is all.

My score:  75/100 (3 stars)
Metacritic score:  70/100 (3 stars)

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I saw the preview for this movie and liked what I saw so I am definitely thinking I finally need to see this one! Cool thing, I just started subscribing and working with DISH Network because I was given Blockbuster by mail free for 3 months http://bit.ly/khvWnc so I'll be able to add this one to the top of my queue! Can't wait to see it! :)