Ed Helms has enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame thanks to The Daily Show, The Office and The Hangover, and while his newest starring vehicle, Cedar Rapids, bears only a superficial resemblance to the latter movie, it's just as hilarious. Helms plays an insurance salesman who's never left his small town, and is exposed to a world of debauchery and corruption in a trip to a convention in metropolitan Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We attended a press conference with Helms where he talked about his character, The Wire and getting naked with Kurtwood Smith.
The commercials for Cedar Rapids make the movie look like a sequel to The Hangover, and they're not far off. We do follow Ed Helms and three of his friends as they engage in day (or more) of drug-and-alcohol-fueled misadventures. But while that movie was about trying to discover what your mistakes were and undo them, Cedar Rapids is about learning how to make mistakes, and finding out that mistakes don't make you a bad person. And Helms isn't reprising his mature dentist character from that film -- instead, he's assumed the Zach Galifianakis role of a naive man-child, and instead of a man-purse, he has a hidden wallet strapped around his midsection.
I was lucky enough to see The Hangover the other night, and while sometimes getting to see screenings in advance feels a lot like work, this one was actually a pleasure. It was quite the welcome change of pace after my recent outings included Terminator: Salvation, Fighting and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.