After recording Oscar Poker #20 this morning with Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone and boxoffice.com’s Phil Contrino, I ran up to the Hotel Andaz (Fifth Avenue and 41st Street) for a Cedar Rapids press conference with star-producer Ed Helms, director Miguel Arteta, and costars Anne Heche and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.
The Cedar Rapids gang at this afternoon’s press conference (l to. r.): Anne Heche, Ed Helms, Isiah Whitlock, Jr. and director Miguel Arteta.
I asked two questions: (1) Did Helms or Arteta or screenwriter Phil Johnston ever literally say to themselves “let’s try to go in a Billy Wilder and/or Preston Sturges direction here” (which I feel they absolutely did, given the proof on the screen) or are just guys like myself bringing up this analogy? And (2) are they in any way concerned that the Sundance stamp on the film’s one-sheet might persuade Eloi popcorn types that Cedar Rapids isn’t low and common enough in a Hangover sense — i.e., that it might be too hip for the room in an indie-movie sense?
In the view of some I spoke to during Sundance Cedar Rapids isn’t indie-dweebie enough — it’s a very mainstreamy-type comedy — but some people, I’m guessing, are spooked by the name “Sundance.”
41st Street exterior of the Andaz hotel.