Imagine “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” if it were darker, funnier and had the deft hand of a better editor. There you have “Cedar Rapids,” a comedy about a small town insurance agent that amounts to an irreverently hilarious postcard from Middle America.
Tim Lippie is sheltered and naïve. He’s never left rural Wisconsin, he’s never flown in a plane and he’s never stayed in a hotel. So when the stud at his insurance office dies, Lippe gets tapped to make the exotic journey to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the annual conference.
For anyone who’s attended a business conference, “Cedar Rapids” rings frighteningly true. All the characters are there: the self-destructive blowhard, the tramp, the kiss-ass, and the well-dressed closeted gay. Even the tired old middle-tier hotel is perfectly cast, the one that believes if it uses the word “luxury” enough, you’ll believe it.
And Lippie does. His simpleton perspective lays the perfect foundation for his weekend train wreck and awakening. “Cedar Rapids” wears both its heart and its big nasty private parts on its sleeve, and somehow comes out perfectly paced. The script is spit-shined into one big authentic, overheard conversation. And while it’s only March, it may be the funniest movie of the year. trailer
Adapted from Mike Ward’s review at Richmond.com