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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

It's time to start the popcorn popping because movie critic Bob Mondello has our latest home-video recommendation. This week he is touting "Cedar Rapids," a little-noticed comedy that was in theaters just a few months ago.

BOB MONDELLO: Innocence has always been comedian Ed Helms' trump card, whether he's playing a dim bulb in "The Office" or a tattooed dentist in "The Hangover." But even for him, insurance salesman Tim Lippe is a naif: a guy who's never set foot outside of Brown Valley, Wisconsin, and who is dating someone - you could say - he's known since seventh grade.

(Soundbite of movie, "Cedar Rapids")

Mr. ED HELMS (Actor): (as Tim Lippe) Do you realize I used to just stare and stare at you, when you were teaching us about the rainforest or whatever. And I would think, I wonder what Mrs. V looks like with her clothes off. And then, boom, we run into each other in line at True Value. And, boom, here we are making love, like once a week. It's like it was fate or something. Did you ever used to look at me and think dirty things?

Ms. SIGOURNEY WEAVER (Actor): (as Macy Vanderhei) You were 12.

Mr. HELMS: (as Tim Lippe) Oh, yeah.

MONDELLO: For Tim, an insurance agents' convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is a trip through the looking glass. Everything is new: His first plane ride, a shiny rent-a-car that makes him feel like he's won the lottery, a hotel clerk who wants to swipe his credit card as he checks in.

(Soundbite of movie, "Cedar Rapids")

Mr. HELMS: (as Tim Lippe) I was under the impression that you honored travelers' checks.

Mr. RICHARD L. FOX (Actor): (as Hotel Employee) You bet. We just need to make an imprint of the card. Don't worry. We are not going to charge you.

(Soundbite of machinery)

Mr. HELMS: (as Tim Lippe) Huh? See? What? Looks like you just charged it.

Mr. FOX: (as Hotel Employee) It's just an imprint.

Mr. HELMS: (as Tim Lippe) Okay.

MONDELLO: Tim is not dumb, let's note, just inexperienced. So he's given a crash course in alcohol, business ethics and women, by some other insurance agents, played with disarming cynicism by Anne Heche, charm by "The Wire's" Isaiah Whitlock, Jr., and much back-slapping by John. C. Reilly.

(Soundbite of movie, "Cedar Rapids")

Mr. JOHN. C. REILLY (Actor): (as Dean Ziegler) Why are you showing me a picture of your mom?

Mr. HELMS: (as Tim Lippe) She's not my mom, okay? She's my girlfriend and we're basically pre-engaged.

Mr. REILLY: (as Dean Ziegler) Whoa-whoa, my bad - beautiful woman, in any case. Wait a minute, what's pre-engaged?

MONDELLO: Many shots of cream sherry later, Tim emerges as principled and upstanding as he went in.

"Cedar Rapids" is a nifty little charmer that clearly didn't strike audiences as a must-see at the multiplex, but that turns out to be just perfect for the rec room. In this case, provided there aren't any small kids around, since the language is pretty blue. The film, though, is as sweet as its hero.

I'm Bob Mondello.

(Soundbite of movie, "Cedar Rapids")

Mr. HELMS: (as Tim Lippe) (Singing) O holy night, costly premiums have them pining. Term life robs them of all they are worth. But there is hope, policyholders now have choices. Behold an agency that won't leave you torn...

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