Hopelessly benign but still boisterous enough to deliver a mild buzz, Cedar Rapids details the efforts of goodie-two-shoes insurance salesman Tim (Ed Helms) to win his firm a coveted award – nabbed the past three years by his revered and now-deceased predecessor – at an Iowa convention. That goal is complicated by his budding friendship with wild man Dean (John C. Reilly), who demands to be called “Deansie,” the come-ons from married Joan (Anne Heche), and the moral judgments of God-loving convention bigwig Orin (Kurtwood Smith). Director Miguel Arteta doesn’t do anything particularly novel with his material (written by Phil Johnston). Yet his clean framing, snappy pacing and convincing evocation of Iowa hotel banality help moderately invigorate Tim’s gradual development of a mature emotional, professional and moral compass, which comes via drunken one-night-stands and smoking crack at a roughneck party out in the middle of rural nowhere. Though rehashing his usual awkward-nebbish routine, Helms never tips Tim into full-blown caricature, and though one can feel Reilly straining to be the action’s humorous wild card, he nonetheless brings a welcome dose of legitimate craziness to the proceedings. It’s a tepid work built on the backs of its fine comedic cast, which is highlighted by Heche, who nails her repartee with Helms while subtly expressing Joan’s unhappiness and hunger for the temporary escape that’s provided by her annual convention getaways. With understatement and nuance, Heche proves to be the star of Cedar Rapids, even if she – as well as Isiah Whitlock Jr., stuck making two dreary wink-wink references to The Wire – ultimately deserves a better film.