Cedar Rapids (2011)

by George Watches Things

***

I love “The Office.” Unfortunately, I don’t always love “The ‘Nardog,” mostly because he sings too much. But Andy Bernard and Tim Lippe, the main character of “Cedar Rapids“, have something in common. They’re played exceptionally well by Ed Helms.

After the hilariously embarrassing death of a colleague, Lippe is called upon to go to an “important” convention and win an “important” award. But that doesn’t matter, really.

What does matter is the cast of characters. This movie wins because of it’s characters. The pitch-perfect Reilly, Heche, and Whitlock (not to mention Helms, again) create real people who you learn to love.

It could have taken a wrong turn anywhere, but it didn’t. The “teet speech” payoff joke could have been an overreaction on the part of Whitlock. Thankfully, it wasn’t, and the result is one of the funniest moments in the film, and one that is true to it’s characters. Another memorable situation (featuring Sigourney Weaver) is just put on the screen in a beyond deadpan fashion. It stuns you. And it makes you laugh.

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