Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #258 Cedar Rapids

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Movie #258 Cedar Rapids

(2011, US, d. Miguel Arteta)

One of those films that can never make up its mind as to whether it is an independent comedy or a mainstream one, Cedar Rapids also faces the misfortune of falling into the category of films no one hated, but no one loved as well. There were times I chuckled. There might have been a time I laughed. But for the most part, Cedar Rapids felt much too contrived for me. Though it dealt with a very specific group of people (insurance agents on a weekend seminar in Cedar Rapids), I never felt the writing got down to the true nuances of the profession and honesty of the lives it was depicted. There were a few insurance jokes here and there but I never felt as if writer Phil Johnston actually took time to understand the problems and issues faced by a small, but influential group of people in middle America. The film also does a good job of wasting the talent of John C. Reilly. One of the finest actors working today, he just seems to wander around in this film, making crude jokes. And though Mr. Reilly has been showing recently that he has an affinity towards indie films, this one didn’t do much for him. Ed Helms was good here, but nothing special. Nothing really that deserves more than a couple of sentences, which he just got. The basic line of the film is that it follows formula, pure and simple. There’s nothing special, nothing too deep, and nothing too new that will excite audiences here. But for a couple of hours, it provides for decent fun.


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