The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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‘Cedar Rapids’ brings hilarity to insurance

It’s not very often that insurance comes off as interesting, but in the Ed Helm’s headlined comedy “Cedar Rapids,” the quirky mid-western based picture makes insurance actually something you can laugh at, but in a good way.

The film, which centers around the borderline agoraphobic Tim Lippe, played innocently by “The Office’s” Ed Helm, follows the more-than-naïve small-town insurance salesman as he journeys to the big city (in this case, Cedar Rapid, Iowa) in hopes of saving his job, and earning Brownstone Insurance, his employer, the illustrious “two-diamonds” award.

Lippe, who hasn’t even stepped foot onto an airplane before, travels to Cedar Rapids equipped with his ultra-touristy side wallet and of course, laminated maps. Upon arrival to the convention center/hotel, which is Lippe’s version of Ritz-Carlton, Tom meets his roommate for the duration of the convention, Ronald Wilkes, a reserved gentlemen played by Isiah Whitlock Jr., who is even more straight laced than Lippe himself.

Due to an error in booking on the hotel’s part, Lippe and Wilkes are forced to share rooms with convention-rebel, Dean Ziegler, played by the movie’s comedic strong-arm John C. Reilly. With Ziegler having a reputation as a “poacher” (a client-stealer in the insurance world), Reilly’s character was the only person that Lippe was told to stay away from.

The trio of misfits is completed when joined by Joan Ostroskwi-Fox, a happy-go-lucky mother/insurance salesman, played by Anne Heche, who uses her annual Cedar Rapids trip to escape from her life as a housewife. When the four get together, nothing but hilarity ensues.

Miguel Arteta’s directorial knowledge is put to good work as he somehow makes the convention his primary setting, but manages to keep the set entertaining. At one point, Arteta’s vision is used to its highest as the “Youth in Revolt” director somehow managed to make a mini-van into a formidable escape car.

“Cedar Rapids” quick line delivery and sometimes-crude jokes never let the film catch its breath. While sometimes this comes across as a bad thing, in a film centered around the slow subject of insurance, the quick pace is more than welcome.

Anne Heche is surprisingly show stealing as the cat out of the bag housewife who claims, “what happens in Cedar Rapids, stays in Cedar Rapids.”

“Cedar Rapids” really heats up, when Tom Leppe uncovers that winning the coveted “two diamond” award will require a little bit of sacrifice on his part.

As a whole, “Cedar Rapids,” is a hilarious movie that you won’t want to end.

“Cedar Rapids” opens in limited release this Friday at the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station.

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