New in Town
Directed by Jonas Elmer
A career woman moves from Miami to small-town Minnesota.
January is “known as a graveyard for bad movies,” but New in Town takes the cake, said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. In a romantic comedy that’s “unfunny at best and borderline-amateur at worst,” Renée Zellweger plays an uptight Miami businesswoman who temporarily relocates to New Ulm, Minn., and unexpectedly falls for a local union rep, played by Harry Connick Jr. The fish-out-of-water premise is so familiar that “every deadly dumb scene predicts the way it’s going to end.” The formulaic title of director Jonas Elmer’s film “should indicate how utterly bereft of creativity New in Town truly is,” said Christy LeMire in the Associated Press. New Ulm seems populated by the most “stereotypically folksy folks” imaginable, who come across as parodies of the characters in Fargo. The women like scrapbooking, the men like ice fishing, and everyone uses cutesy phrases like “You betcha” and “okey-dokey.” Zellweger is “equally unconvincing,” said Stephen Holden in The New York Times. Her performance, like the movie itself, “operates on automatic pilot.”