By Joanna Langfield

Like the device at its center, this film is smart, nimble and pretty much of a kick.

There has been a recent spate of biographies, not so much about people, but companies and the inventions they served up to the world. Unlike Tetris, which is almost a spy story, and the terrific Air, a far larger and admirably slick piece, Canadian filmmaker Matt Johnson keeps it small, even when the scrappy little startup hits the very big time. We find ourselves rooting not just for the geniuses who could and would change the world, but for the film about them, too.

Not that the real life people behind the creation of the world’s first smartphone are all worth rooting for. I mean sure, Mike Lazaridis, the computer whiz who thought up the game changer, starts out as a soft and fuzzy superbrain, but although he’s smart enough to sell out to a Harvard trained biz bro, he’s dumb enough to ignore a lot of stuff happening right in front of his eyes. And while we are charmed by the assortment of smartypants techies enjoying movie nights, we also realize Jim Balsillie’s sharp dressed man might be just the guy the floundering company needs. As long as he doesn’t get too big for his impeccably tailored trousers. Which, of course, he does. If he hadn’t, we’d all probably be still walking around with those little black boxes, clutched in our hands.

Keep your eyes peeled for some familiar character actors who show up throughout, but the real show here is between a quite wonderful Jay Baruchel and a scary good Glenn Howerton, previously best known for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It’s great to see two actors get to stretch not just their comedic, but dramatic wings and in this interesting and well made film, they soar.

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