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New in Town – only its mother could love it
What do Stephen Hawking’s legs, my boxing capabilities and the movie New in Town have in common? They are all weak! When I say “weak” I mean really, really weak. I can’t tell you how weak these things are. They are so weak that after 97 minutes of New in Town I am feeling somewhat lightheaded.
A high-powered consultant in love with her upscale Miami lifestyle is sent to a middle of nowhere town in Minnesota to oversee the restructuring of a blue collar manufacturing plant. After enduring a frosty reception from the locals, icy roads and freezing weather, she warms up to the small town's charm, and eventually finds herself being accepted by the community
Let us start with the problem that I had throughout this shambles of a film: accents! I was under the impression that the accents used in the film were Canadian instead of a typical South-East Minnesotan. Perhaps my geographical and cultural knowledge is below par but if you want to set the town in a northern province
then I suggest somewhere in Canada. In fact, why not Selkirk since that is where it was filmed predominantly. Why would you claim it be anywhere else? Is Hollywood so addicted to lies and fantasy that a simple truth
is too difficult to consider?
What is it with Renée Zellweger? Since Jerry Maguire
she has gone on to achieve respectability in Cold Mountain
and Chicago and can now be found in awful contrived “romantic comedies
” such as this! Why would she take on such a role? This is the sort of film that Reese Witherspoon
is known for. At least we would never expect Ms Witherspoon to be any good!
Renée’s romantic interest is that of Harry Connick
Jr. which seems like he was chosen as a “put a lot of random names
in a hat and pull one out” type of person. I mean it is such a random choice
! You’d think that whoever was responsible for casting would at least choose someone that Renée was capable of feeling (or at least acting) emotions toward. Mr Connick Jr. is not that individual however and manages to be a less interesting version of Hugh Jackman (and that is saying something).
The story flies along as if you know it already; passing months with absolutely no detail apart from some God-awful dialogue by Blanche (played by Siobhan Fallon). In fact the acting was so painfully bad I had hoped this was some kind of joke. Sadly even bad jokes make me laugh politely (being dependably British) and this did not raise a smirk.
I feel sorry for J.K. Simmons. He is completely wasted as the foreman in this film after showing his worth in previous movies. It makes you wonder why these people bothered. Did they expect anyone to go and see it? Surely it would appeal to some of those individuals amongst us who see a Snowy local town as an idyllic home. Well..no! I am one of those very sad people who would rather live in the woods in a snowy forest whilst moaning about the creaking of the trees and yet I would still rather chew off my own leg than watch this again.
The story has simply been told before (and told much better). I’ll give you some adequate examples: Doc Hollywood (starring Michael J. Fox) and Baby Boom (starring Diane Keaton). Both of these films (although not brilliant) are a great deal more entertaining than New in Town. That is my point exactly. New in Town doesn’t even manage to be even close to adequate. It is so far away from “adequate” I imagine that I am closer to Alpha Centauri!
Character development? Hah! I don’t think so! In fact I am sure the screenwriter decided that Renée Zellweger was to play a “high-powered exec-type woman” and Harry Connick Jr. was to play a “scruffy yet sensitive man of the people” and everyone else to play “yokels”. This is not character development! This is a two year old child drawing a picture of a house! Yes, to a parent it looks like a good approximation of a house but to everyone else it looks like a symphony only a rampant badger and a fountain pen could ever create!
Renée Zellweger? Hah! Harry Connick Jr.? Hah! Storyline? Hah! Comedy value? Hah! Should I continue? I don’t think there is much point. I hated this film more than I despise some snotty nosed 16 year old winning £4,000,000 on the Lottery instead of me. In fact I hate New in Town more than that due to the fact that I am likely to see this film again. It is inevitable that later in life I will be snoring one Christmas afternoon (after eating far too much) and will wake to hear the chalkboard scratchingly bad acting on the television. At least that snotty nosed kid will be out of my mind within a week.
Rating: 1 out of 5