'Cedar Rapids' Movie: 5 Fun Facts About the Film

Sheri Reed

cedar rapids ed helms ted lippeSet in Iowa but not even remotely about corn, the new movie Cedar Rapids looks like good fun. The film stars Ed Helms at Ted Lippe who is the small-town boy who was going to go places but somehow he "just didn't." Now he's an adult and an insurance salesman going nowhere, still living in his tiny hometown of Brown Valley, Wisconsin.

Of course, his life takes an almighty and unpredictable turn at a strangely wild 'n' wonderful insurance convention in the big-to-them city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. John C. Reilly and a red-haired Anne Heche also star in the film. What's not to like?

Also pretty excited to see Alia Shawkat (she played Maeby Funke the dearly departed Arrested Development series) in this film. Love her -- although the subplot with her character, a prostitute, sounds like it lost some viewers.

Here are a few fun facts about and early reviews for the film.

5 Fun Facts About Cedar Rapids:

From tidbits on auditions and the set to silly stories from behind the scenes to some early reviews of the film, here are a few interesting items we found out about the movie.

Mark Perry at Daily Markets reveals the movie wasn't actually filmed in Cedar Rapids:

The state of Iowa used to have some tax incentives available for filming there, but they were being phased out around the time that the movie “Cedar Rapids” was originally going to be filmed on location in 2009 in the movie’s namesake Cedar Rapids. So Ann Arbor was selected for filming, because it’s comparable in size to Cedar Rapids, and more importantly because Michigan taxpayers would foot the bill for 42% of the film’s production costs. 

According to MSN, Anne Heche wore a red wig to her audition, and the director loved it:

I read the script and had been a blonde for a while on Hung and knew there was an image that was associated with that character that I certainly wanted to change. I didn't know what I wanted to do, necessarily. As I read (Cedar Rapids), one of the guys who worked with me on my hair, I asked him if I could borrow a red wig, and I put it on, and I thought, 'This is it. Miguel's either going to throw me out of the room, or he's going to say, 'This is the beginning of a really fun character.' Fortunately, he loved the wig and laughed and said, 'Thank God you're not a blonde.' From then on, he never got off her being a redhead and would not allow her to be anything but a redhead from that first moment.

According to Katherine Monk at The Vancouver Sun, John C. Reilly carries the film:

As the brash, sexist, recently divorced pig, Reilly shines brighter than a cubic zirconia tennis bracelet on the Shopping Channel.

Reilly is the only actor in the entire cast (outside of Whitlock, who doesn't get enough screen time) to really infuse his character with palpable humanity. You can see the tongue in everyone else's cheek as they slyly ridicule small-town yokels, even when they're supposedly playing it straight.

Via BuzzSugar, here's how actress Alia Shawkat says she used the element of surprise to bring out some great on-screen facial expressions from lead actor Ed Helms:

 I remember one scene in the bathroom, Miguel would sometimes tell one of the actors, ‘Surprise me and do something!’ He told me, ‘I want you to surprise me and surprise Ed.' ... So we’re in the bathroom, and you don’t see me -- just the back of my head, and I grabbed his crotch, like grabbed it tight, and he’s supposed to be on meth and he got this amazing look on his face. And afterward he was so pink and blushed, and he was like, ‘I didn’t know you were going to do that! I didn’t know you were going to do that!’ And was all giggly.

In case you're worried this movie is just going to be silly, Leah Rozen at The Wrap says:

Director Miguel Arteta (“The Good Girl” and “Chuck and Buck”) and star Helms (who also served as producer) skillfully manage a delicate balancing act here: Ted may be magnificently naive, but he is never stupid.

Here's the Cedar Rapids trailer:

Cedar Rapids opens in theaters this weekend.

Are you going to see Cedar Rapids?


Image via YouTube

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