comedy full of rapid-fire laughs
resolutely behind Johnston’s morally flawed protagonists every stumble of the way. Nice guy Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) works for an insurance firm which has won the coveted Two Diamonds award for excellence in customer service for the past two years. Gregarious agent Roger Lemke (Thomas Lennon) is the chief reason for the firm’s success and every year, he travels to a conference to compete against rival insurance firms for the glittering industry standard. After Roger dies, boss Bill Krogstad (Stephen Root) asks Tim to represent the company at the conference, making it clear that his future depends on the Two Diamonds award. So Tim nervously flies to Iowa where he room-shares with lovable Ronald Wilkes (Isiah Whitlock Jnr) and party animal Dean Ziegler (John C Reilly). Cedar Rapids is a delightful character study centred on an innocent, kind and caring man, who always sees the good in other people and is blinkered to their ulterior motives. Helms is adorable in the lead role and the banter is littered with sparkling one-liners. Tim’s sweetness contrasts with the jaded cynicism of the other characters, providing momentum for the film’s uplifting resolution. Nice guys might not finish first but they have fun trying. FAMILY WATCH: Swearing, Sex, Violence.