I can’t lie to you. “Iowa” is a very popular search term because of the Republican Caucus. I tried to find a way to make this list seem more organic, but there is absolutely no way of making you, dear reader, believe that I organically decided upon an Iowa-themed list. Anyway, you’ve clicked and made it this far. Please keep reading and school yourself on Iowa.
Perhaps the most famous movie set in Iowa, Field of Dreams follows Ray Kinsella, a handsome farmer who goes around picking up men and dressing them in uniforms. He then starts to imagine men walking among cornstalks (no phallic imagery there), until he is literally surrounded by athletic dudes. For some reason, this doesn’t really bother his wife.
Ray’s farm is a magical place, and connotes what most of us imagine when we think of Iowa – a place that is mostly made of corn, consisting of a bunch of people that refuse to believe in magic. It makes sense that we would hold a caucus there.
Unfortunately, after Field of Dreams was released in 1989, 90% of Iowa farms were immediately converted to baseball fields. Many were populated with historically significant baseball players, but unfortunately, the players that appeared to occupy these fields predated the Jackie Robinson era, and racism pervaded all of Iowa. Consequently, Iowa is now known as a place with no corn and lots of race riots, all because of Field of Dreams.
Cedar Rapids is a pretty funny film, but it gets more credit that it deserves because it didn’t get a wide release. The film stars Ed Helms, the guy that says “sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiit” from The Wire, John C. Reilly, and Anne Heche. Helms is sent to an insurance convention in Cedar Rapids, only to find that the Midwestern independent insurance accreditation game is straight-up rigged.
This film paints Iowa in a negative light in much the same way that The Wire did with Baltimore and Florida does all on its own.
Cedar Rapids was actually shot in Ann Arbor, because Iowa wasn’t able to give the film anything in the way of a tax credit. Considering the film appeared to have cost about $14,300 to produce, you think that Iowa would have been able to pony up the $91 or so that the producers required. Missed opportunity, Iowa.