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Film / Cedar Rapids

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Today is the first day of the rest of his weekend.

You're freaking out, your world is crumbling — it's your first ASMI. I get it. Welcome to the jungle, Timbo.
Dean Ziegler

Cedar Rapids is a 2011 comedy directed by Miguel Arteta and stars Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Sigourney Weaver. Helms plays a Wisconsin insurance salesman who goes to a convention in the eponymous city in Iowa. Along the way, Hilarity Ensues.

The film contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Ronald mentions being a huge fan of "the HBO program The Wire". His actor, Isiah Whitlock Jr., played Clay Davis on the show.
  • Adorkable: Tim and Ronald.
  • Affably Evil: Orin Helgesson. He's corrupt and a bad guy, yes, but he's polite about it.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": the commercials for insurance
  • Big Damn Heroes: Ronald saves Tim from getting his ass kicked with his Omar impression.
  • Black and Nerdy: Ronald
  • Break the Cutie: When Tim finds out that Roger Lemke, his idol, was a sexual deviant that even Joan couldn't keep up with and that he bribed the ASMI president for each of his Two-Diamond awards. Tim also has to do the same to save his company. He redeems himself later on.
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  • Celebrity Paradox: The above re: Ronald and The Wire.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Ronald made mention that he's a huge fan of The Wire. This actually becomes useful later on.
  • Coming-of-Age Story
  • The Cutie: Tim.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Erotic Asphyxiation: What kills Roger Lemke
  • Fan Disservice: Ed Helms and Kurtwood Smith have a nude scene together.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Tim's boss, Bill Krogstad, played by Stephen Root, starts out seeming like a nice enough guy, but by the end of the film, we see what an asshole he really is.
  • Flyover Country: Tim leads such a sheltered small-town life that a flight to Cedar Rapids, Iowa is a big deal for him.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Bree.
  • Hookers and Blow: Bree introduces Tim to marijuana and cocaine.
  • Hot Teacher: Marcy was Tim's former teacher.
  • Innocent Bigot: Upon first meeting Ronald, Tim thought he was about to be robbed. He gets better though and the two become friends.
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  • Intergenerational Friendship: Tim and Bree develop the beginnings of one of these.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dean. He may seem like a jerk early on (due to his abrasive behavior and some unsavory rumors about him) but he shows a lot of love for his daughter and his friends.
  • Large Ham: John C. Reilly chews up and spits out every bit of scenery he can get his hands on.
  • May–December Romance: Tim and Marcy.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Joan.
  • Sensei for Scoundrels: Dean spends the film encouraging Tim to loosen up, drink more, hit on women and generally be a more assertive person. His borderline-alcoholic Jerk with a Heart of Gold tendancies are never downplayed, but Dean turns out to be a stand-up guy whose encouragement helps Tim grow and stand up for himself.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Dean.
  • Television Geography: Due to an Iowa Film Tax Credit scandal, the movie, rather infamously, was filmed in Ann Arbor, Michigan instead of the titular city, although shots of the actual Cedar Rapids were super imposed into some shots and seen through a plane window.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Guess.


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