“Cedar Rapids” Fails The Smell Test

   The fact that the alleged comedy “Cedar Rapids” is getting some good reviews (86% “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes) only proves how standards have plummeted.   Considering the subject matter and some of the cast (Stephen Root, Anne Heche and Kurtwood Smith)  I had high hopes.  However, any hint of sophisticated humor is once again out the door to be replaced by another Dumb and Dumber slide into the world of crude.   Although sorely tempted, I didn’t walk out, even after John C. Reilly set a match to a plume of flatulence, because I thought it was going to turn the corner.  The movie, not the flaming plume of flatulence.  It never did.

Have any of the people putting these films together seen any of the work done by Preston Sturgis, Blake Edwards or Billy Wilder?

When did the American film industry decide to abandon comedic quality?

I’ll tell you when (he said, answering his own question) – when studio execs decided bathroom humor that attracts crowds of teenagers and promotes the continued dumbing down is easier to do and makes more money than sophisticated humor for adults, that’s when.   Their mistake, is they’ve forgotten there’s a ton of money to be made on  great comedies like “10,” which pulled in a big audience without insulting anyone’s intelligence.

Chances are, many of those who “get it” are gone from the business.  And Ed Helms, is no Dudley Moore.  Not even close.  Whether Russell Brand is, remains to be seen.  The remake of “Arthur” starring Brand in the lead and co-starring Helen Mirren in the role of “Hobson” originally played by John Gielgud, is due to be released in April.   Feels like a huge mistake to me.  Like they’re leaning on the skills of Helen Mirren to save it?  We’ll see.

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