Best known for his supporting roles as nerdy dentist Stu in The Hangover and pompous salesman Andy in the US version of The Office, Ed Helms takes the lead as an incredibly naïve Midwesterner in Cedar Rapids, a smutty comedy with a surprisingly sweet centre.
Helms’ 34-year-old Tim Lippe leaves his small hometown for the first time in his life to attend an insurance convention in what for him is the dizzying metropolis of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There he is taken under the wing of a trio of fellow conventioneers – party hearty loudmouth Dean (John C Reilly), sober Ronald (Isiah Whitlock Jr from The Wire) and foxy Joan (Anne Heche) – and discovers sex and drugs and karaoke. Along the way, his eyes are opened to the ways of the wider world, and by the time it comes to go home, he’s lost his innocence but kept his moral compass.
With raunchy jokes and pointed sideswipes at religious hypocrisy, the film takes its bearings from Reilly’s Deanzie – vulgar on the outside, but warm-hearted and sincere underneath.
Released on DVD & Blu-ray on 19th September by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.