The 2011 comedy “Cedar Rapids” from Fox Searchlight Pictures was directed by Miguel Arteta with the screenplay written by Phil Johnston. Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Alia Shawkat, Anne Heche, Kurtwood Smith, Stephen Root, Rob Corddry, Mike O’Malley, Thomas Lennon, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Michael Buie, Tamara Frapasella, Mike Birbiglia and Seth Morris.
Life in Brown Valley, Wisconsin is pretty much the definition of Americana, this is the small town where Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) was born and raised and has never traveled beyond its borders. Like many people in small towns, the big city life is something that they read about in the paper or hear about on the television, but only a few have the courage to venture out from the safe confides of their little safe haven and experience the wild and unpredictable domain of a metropolis. When Tim was in school everyone thought he had great potential to be one of those who would leave Brown Valley and make a name for himself, but somewhere along the line, he lost his spark and settled into a career as an insurance salesman.
Now that he is in his early thirties, all of this seems to be just the natural order of things for him; he has Macy Vanderhei (Sigourney Weaver) a nice girl who he will marry one day and he earns his living helping people to fulfill and protect their dreams – what more could a guy ask for? Just when Tim thought that everything was fine, he gets a call from his manager who is in a total state of panic and orders him to attend the national insurance convention in the big city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa a long way from home.
Suddenly the play button is pushed and heads out on his crash course of how the real world beyond the borders of Brown Valley works. When he arrives with the urgency of the mission at hand well understood, Tim’s whole perspective is in for a major shock. From the sophisticated travel gear to the very friendly conventioneers, he soon partners with the very man he was told to avoid the notorious Dean Zeigler (John C. Reilly) along with Joan (Anne Heche) the sensuous insurance agent from Nebraska and the no-nonsense Ronald Wilkes (Isiah Whitlock Jr.). Tim is in for a real life changing event as he begins to learn the facts of life in the big city.