The buzz drifting from Sundance on Cedar Rapids has so far been very positive. The new comedy comes from Miguel Arteta, who directed the wonderful Chuck & Buck and the somewhat under-appreciated The Good Girl (I never saw Youth in Revolt), and stars Ed Helms as a sheltered small town doofus who works in the insurance business. So sheltered is he that it is a major life shake-up when he gets sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at a convention. For those unfamiliar with Iowa, Cedar Rapids isn’t even their biggest city, and its population is roughly 130,000. The gag here of course is that to Helms character he is essentially visiting New York City. At the convention Helms meets the gregarious John C. Reilly, who attempts to show Helms the ropes. 40 Year Old Virgin antics ensue.
To be honest, this trailer doesn’t make the movie seem more than a pleasant airplane or late-night cable viewing, but Arteta’s involvement plus the solid word-of-mouth has me hopeful for the film. Helms and Reilly are doing their standard thing here. Isiah Whitlock Jr. seems like he may be the secret weapon of the film; I enjoyed his in-joke line about The Wire (you may recognize Whitlock as weaselly State Sen. Clay Davis from the series). Cedar Rapids has a great cast, including Alia Shawkat, Anne Heche, Stephen Root, and the just barely featured in the trailer Rob Corddry. Not featured at all in the trailer are Mike O’Malley, Thomas Lennon, the awesome Kurtwood Smith, and most surprisingly (to have not featured) Sigourney Weaver – who has top billing on the IMDb.