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Cedar Rapids floats on 

You won't bust a gut watching this comedy, but it's still funny.

Cedar Rapids is both more and less than the lowbrow exercise suggested by its marketing poster, from which uber-nerd Ed Helms beams the promise of acting as both a punchline and punching bag. Helms does serve these functions, but his character – an innocent Midwestern insurance rep named Tim who gets a painful education in sex, drugs and corruption at an industry conference – is also a rounded, real person shocked to have his worldview upended. His more jaded partners in debauchery, played by John C. Reilly, Anne Heche and Isiah Whitlock Jr., are likewise healthily human; they genuinely care about Tim even as they laugh at his naivete. The jokes aren’t spit-out-your-drink funny, but it’s nice to see a comedy based on gentle camaraderie rather than mean-spirited zingers or gross-out pranks.


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