When not engaging in drunken acts of debauchery in the Hangover movies, Ed Helms mostly spends his days playing the A cappella-singing, socially awkward Andy Bernard on The Office. Now he's headlining a pic titled Cedar Rapids that looks to mesh the comedic styles of Helms' previous onscreen ventures.
The newly released Cedar Rapids trailer finds Helms joining forces with John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. as they engage in shenanigans that include drunken swim parties, rock climbing, prostitutes - all at an Iowan insurance convention.
Helms stars in Cedar Rapids as Tim Lippe, a tight-laced insurance agent who combs his hair straight and has never dared to venture outside his small hometown before. Sent by his company to a convention in the titular city, Tim inadvertently hooks up with the party-happy Dean Ziegler (Reilly) and his band of fellow mischief-making agents, Joan Ostrowski-Fox (Heche) and Ronald Wilkes (Whitlock) for a weekend that (wait for it)... Tim will never forget.
Cedar Rapids was directed by Miguel Arteta, who was also at the helm of another recent, R-Rated "good guy gets in touch with his wild side" comedy, the Michael Cera-starring Youth in Revolt. Obviously the most outrageous jokes in Arteta and Helm's collaboration are verboden from the MPAA-approved theatrical preview, so Cedar Rapids may play far more fast and loose than this trailer indicates.
Check out the Cedar Rapids trailer (via Apple) below:
The Wire fans should get a kick from seeing Whitlock pull an Omar Little impersonation, but otherwise this preview makes Cedar Rapids look like your standard raunchy comedy with a heart of gold. As mentioned before, the movie itself might pack more of a punch since it'll include all the crude bits and gags that are considered too inappropriate for a green band trailer.
While Helms has always been a secondary player up to now, the actor shouldn't have too much trouble serving as the anchor of Cedar Rapids - especially since he'll have a better than decent supporting crew to interact with and play off of. If things don't work out, well, at least Helms also has The Hangover 2 on the horizon.
Fox Searchlight will premiere Cedar Rapids at next month's Sundance Film Festival before releasing it nationwide in the U.S. on February 11th, 2011.