Quickcard Review New in Town
Directed by: Jonas Elmer Cast: Renée Zellweger, Harry Connick Jr., J.K. Simmons, Siobhan Fallon Running time: 1 hr. 40 mins. Rating: PG
Plot: A Miami business woman (Zellweger) gets transferred to Minnesota to take care of the downsizing of a town plant. Through her struggles, she starts to identify with the town and falls for the local union rep. (Connick Jr.).
Who's it For? People who love stereotypes of small townsfolk AND big city people will feel right at home watching this mild romantic comedy. Yes, both the romance and the comedy is mild.
Remember Renée Zellweger? She proved she could do romance with Jerry Maguire, she proved she could dominate physical comedy with Bridget Jones and heck, she can even be Oscar-worthy with Cold Mountain. So why, WHY? is she in this film? This is a film an actress does for a paycheck and a chance to headline a film after some initial minor success, but not now.
Minnesotans are portrayed as slow, simple people throughout the entire script, and then somehow it's thrown back in our face like it's our fault for thinking they're dim. It's not our fault, it's the script. It's like someone who has only lived in New York wrote every scene about the townsfolk. And then someone from rural America wrote Lucy's (Zellweger) character and all of her big-city ideas. Nothing feels real, it's all stereotypes.
But then there's Harry Connick Jr. as Ted. I don't know how he does it, but he constantly is in roles that seem awful for him, and then out of nowhere, he makes it work. There is one physical comedy moment that involves Ted, Lucy and trying to pee in the woods, and another when it's a tid bit nipply out. Otherwise we're stuck with Lucy wearing heels when she shouldn't, or Frances Conroy selling her acting soul to play a woman with an eye that sometimes wanders but is never mentioned. Yes, the landscape looks cold, but how hard is that?
All in all ... this is the classic "How come I never heard of this movie?" One day you are watching TV, and New in Town pops on and nothing makes sense. You wonder how you missed hearing about this film in the theater, but then you watch a little and it makes perfect sense. All they had to do was improve on a non-kid version of Baby Boom. But instead TAPIOCA they give a storyline TAPIOCA that can be spotted TAPIOCA from a mile away without tapping into the charm that Zellweger can possess.
Final Score: 4/10