Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Went out to see a movie this past weekend. Since it was a comedy, all of the previews were also comedies. The first was about two slackers on a road trip (only the 1000th time that premise has been used) who befriend an alien from outer space. Lots of car crashes, mayhem, tepid one-liners, and the alien speaking jive. Ha ha. Then a movie about dufus husbands who are allowed a week off to have affairs. It’s directed by the Farrelly Brothers and the trailer is just a string of sex jokes, zany friends, tepid one-liners, and car crashes. And finally, Topher Grace trying to impress some hot girl complete with zany friends, sex jokes, loud party scenes, tepid one-liners, and yes, of course, car crashes.
I was one more trailer away from killing myself. But then, a wondrous thing occurred. A miracle. A divine act of God. How else could you describe it? There, on the screen, for all to see, was a comedy that was actually funny, with humor that grew out of the characters, and a real story, with people you cared about. Imagine a romantic comedy where not one airbag is deployed!
CEDAR RAPIDS is a wonderful little movie. And when it follows typical Hollywood comedy trailers, it gets elevated to the greatest motion picture of all-time.
I can’t recommend it enough. You won’t be rolling in the aisles; it’s not that kind of film. There’s subtlety instead of stunts, grown ups instead of borderline retards, and dialogue even wittier than, “Dude! What the fuck?!” But you will laugh, and you won’t hate yourself for what you're laughing at.
CEDAR RAPIDS stars Ed Helms as a real-life Ned Flanders who travels from a small town in Wisconsin to the angry metropolis of Cedar Rapids to attend an insurance convention. Over the course of the next few days his life is turned upside down, and every value he has will be tested. To me, that sounds more like a valid movie premise than two idiots join up with the Purple People Eater.
I don’t want to say anything more about the plot. Don’t want to give anything away.
I will however, say that everyone in this movie is perfectly cast. From Ed Helms (I’m a huge fan), Ann Heche (great range – can play funny and straight), Sigorney Weaver (best MILF role since Mrs. Robinson), Kurtwood Smith (the Gene Hackman of character actors), Isiah Whitlock Jr. (you could never tell from his work on THE WIRE that he had comic chops), and best of all, John C. Reilly. He is absolutely HILARIOUS in this movie. A breakout role if he hadn’t already broken out.
CEDAR RAPIDS. See it before they remake it with Russell Brand.
By Ken Levine at 6:52 AM