REVIEW: NEW IN TOWN
SYNOPSIS: Lucy Hill (Renée Zellweger)
is an ambitious, up and coming executive living in Miami.
She loves her shoes, she loves her cars and she loves
climbing the corporate ladder. When she is offered a
temporary assignment - in the middle of nowhere - to
restructure a manufacturing plant, she jumps at the
opportunity, knowing that a big promotion is close at hand.
What begins as a straight forward job assignment becomes a
life changing experience as Lucy discovers greater meaning
in her life and most unexpectedly, the man of her dreams
(Harry Connick, Jr.).
REVIEW: Hot vs.
cold, beach vs. snow, palm trees vs. ice, high heels vs.
boots, and Miami vs. Minnesota . . . what do you think is
going to win? Among the many themes in this movie is the one
that shows how the simple life in a small simple town can
have just as much charm and satisfaction as big city life.
The small town is New Ulm, Minnesota and the people there
are great. These simple people in this simple town are
genuine, straightforward, and hospitable. Their accent is
quite entertaining too. I love accents. Some of my favorites
are Jamaican, British, Australian, and the New York accent.
This northern Mid-West accent is gaining positions in my
ranks. I haven’t heard such fantastic use of this accent
since Fargo. Frances McDormand really stood out in that
movie, both the accent and her performance. She did win an
Oscar for that role. Her counterpart in this picture is
Siobhan Fallon who plays Blanche, the “secretary”. Not that
she’s going to win an Oscar for her performance, even though
it was good, but she does steal almost every scene she’s in
with her comedic performance and that enjoyable accent. The
transfer from Miami to New Ulm is done by Lucy Hill, played
by Renee Zellweger. Lucy is one of the Miami based company
execs and she gets assigned to go to New Ulm to check up on
them and “clean up” the place. Renee looked as sharp as
ever; I would even say that she has never looked this good,
her squinty eyes smile and all. Her wardrobe really made the
effect; very Miami. Probably the funniest aspect of this
film is that extreme transition. Being from Miami myself, I
can relate. But even though she looked real sharp, her
performance was not so much. She does have a flare for
comedy, but in this movie she is borderline boring. What
saves her is the summation of the rest of the cast and the
situations that come up via the story. Harry Connick Jr.
plays Ted Mitchell, the workers union rep and all around
do-it-all guy in New Ulm. He does a decent job with his
performance and he shows Lucy why it is worthwhile to live
in Minnesota. I’m a big fan of J.K. Simmons. He can do no
wrong and he really livens up his characters from J. Jonah
Jameson in Spiderman to Juno’s father. Here he plays a more
stoutly Stu Kopenhafer, plant manager. He also brings a good
use of the accent along with his sharp, sarcastic wit.
This is a cute, feel-good romantic comedy that touches on
relatively current issues in corporate America. So not only
is it funny and romantic, it quietly delivers a message
about the blue collar worker and how they are taken for
granted and manipulated like numbers on a piece of paper
when in reality they are human beings with homes and
families to support just like the rest of us. And yet it can
be the simplest of things that can turn out to be the
biggest of factors in your survival . . . like a
screwdriver, a match, or even tapioca. The settings used
throughout the picture were so appropriate and realistic; it
helped with the effect of the extremities of this story.
From the beachfront high-rise condos and the jogs along the
beach to the cozy homes, time-trapped offices and factories,
iced lakes, and snow piled highway shoulders, both extremes
are well represented. Director Jonas Elmer who was born in
Denmark has done most of his work there. Considering his
limited exposure to the States, he did a pretty good job
with this film. Yes it is another typical chick flick, but
it’s not bad. It’s actually a little better than I expected.
Review By Cine Marcos
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