Tim Lippe is in his mid-thirties. He’s having an affair with his ex-elementary school teacher who is now in her mid-sixties. He dreams of one day erecting a small green house in his backyard. He’s fervidly devoted to his employer (Brown Stone Insurance), and is stoked to represent them at Cedar Rapids’s annual insurance convention. Enter Dean Ziegler (John C. Reilly) and Ronald "The Ronimal" Wilkes (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), conference veterans eager to break Tim from his conservative shell.
Cedar Rapids features infidelity, prostitution, drug use, alcohol use, bribery use, foul language use, crude humor use and is overwhelmingly charming. It is that rare type of movie that feels genuine while never forcing itself to conform to the conventions of modern cinema.
Ed Helms is brilliant as the fish-out-of-water Tim Lippe – a role not too distant from the dainty character he portrays on The Office. The supporting players seldom put a wrong foot, hurling comedy like it were vomit all over the screen. No one plays a middle-age child like John C. Reilly. His performance as the obnoxious Ziegler is irredeemably funny.
Kudos to Whitlock for his convincing impersonation of Omar from the HBO program The Wire. Strong Praise to Reilly for his R2-D2 imitation.