com­edy full of rapid-fire laughs

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - BIG SCREEN - Da­mon Smith

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.

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