Most of the movies we see aren’t shown at the lamestream theaters. Yes, I just paraphrased Sarah Palin and I promise to flail myself with a Wall Street Journal in penance.
We are lucky enough to live near two theaters which show independent and foreign films. Sarah might dismiss them as the kind artsy-fartsy liberals frequent, but she’d be missing some darned good movies.
Cedar Rapids was our latest find. Our local paper gave it a good review and the NYTimes found it noteworthy. Good for them; we might not have heard of it, otherwise. The people in the ticket line didn’t seem familiar with it either because some were asking one another, “What’s the name of the one we’re seeing again?”
I missed the first ten minutes, so fascinated at my husband trying not to hoot aloud that I watched him instead of the movie. It is hopelessly and hilariously Midwestern (think Fargo.) Too, the story takes place at an insurance convention. How funny is that? Very.
I’ve read that it was filmed mostly in and around Ann Arbor, Michigan, but it’s authentically Cedar Rapids, Iowa, enough for anyone.
The raunchy stuff coming out of John C. Reilly’s over-the-top character is outrageous, yes, but wasn’t offensive to me, even though I’ve felt icky hearing the same phrases in mainstream movies. As we were leaving the theater, Dearly Beloved said, “We can’t admit to our children that we saw that!” We quickly changed our minds about that and decided we’d not only admit it, we’d recommend it to them.
It was only after we came back home and were laughing over some of the scenes that we realized how many good lessons the movie carried within all the hilarity. Films like this find a way to be laugh-out-loud funny without taking away the humanity of the characters. The plot thickens to reveal the true nature of the characters, bringing the audience to the realization that there is much, much more to this movie than the laughs.
Still not convinced? Watch this: