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Cedar Rapids (Blu-ray Review)

14 Jun, 2011 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Street 6/21/11
Box Office $6.9 million
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for crude and sexual content, language and drug use.
Stars Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver.

Insurance broker Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) loves his job. He’s a sensitive guy with small-town aspirations and strong feelings for his former elementary school teacher, Ms. Vanderhei (Sigourney Weaver), who’s just in it for a good time.

When his celebrated coworker, Roger Lemke (Thomas Lennon), commits suicide (the weight of his shady behavior proves too much to bear), Tim is sent in his stead to the big insurance convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to garner his company the coveted Two Diamonds Award for a fourth year in a row.

It’s in Cedar Rapids that a naive Tim, who has never left Wisconsin, is exposed to the dark side of the insurance world. Tim is nervous about landing his company the award, and, thankfully, three convention veterans take him under their wings. Crass Dean Zeigler (John C. Reilly), dependable Ronald Wilkes (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) and frisky Joan Ostrowski-Fox (Anne Heche) give him a crash course in conference schmoozing, and before long, the foursome are the best of friends.

As the reserved insurance broker lets loose, he becomes entangled in sticky situation after sticky situation. One of the many highlights of Cedar Rapids comes when Tim, a fish out of water of sorts, joins Bree (Alia Shawcat), a young prostitute conducting “business” at the convention hotel, at a wild house party, and is bailed out by his newfound friends. By the end of the weekend, Tim is a wiser individual.

Cedar Rapids is an enjoyable comedy, thanks to Helms and Reilly, who rarely disappoint. Heche, playing a married mother who uses the conference to take a break from her bland life, also steals scenes as a fiery, fun redhead. The bonus material is chock full of extras that keep the laughs coming. The deleted scenes, gag reel and “Top Notch” commercial, in particular, are must-sees.

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