Friday, March 16, 2012
Cedar Rapids. C
Cedar Rapids was a deeply overrated comedy from last year, a mix of the small quirky American comedy with the boisterous, obnoxious mainstream comedies in the vein of The Hangover (how could such a good film produce so many problems in the American comedy world?) The first problem is that this film is forgettable, not the sort you'd want to see again with a group of friends. The second is that it offers a Frank Capra-esque message about justice in the work place while also promoting raunch (here, a.k.a fun) as an acceptable antidote to a long day at work. The problems go on. Which of the characters are actually likable? Ed Helms has a few good moments, but his character grows boring and irritating as the movie goes on. The Anne Heche character was essentially a copy of Vera Farmiga from Up in the Air, only also more irritating than charming. She had no elegance, grace. So there's no strong female role here, which works to the film's detriment. Then there's John C. Reilly, who provides much of the film's raunchy humor and profanity. He was too obvious though, that dirty little friend with a sweet side we've seen before. Isiah Whitlock Jr's character was fairly strong, but was that "other side" he reveals at the end of the movie necessary? I felt like the movie was simply laughing at itself rather than producing genuine comedy. This film is all mixed up, thinking it's got a perfect story with great humor and a solid message. The problem is that it doesn't seem to have any grasp of any of these things. The same might be said for those who enjoyed the movie, though I need to be careful, for this was a widely praised film.