Tuesday, May 26, 2009

You Had Me at Mayo

New in Town
Release: 01.30.09
DVD Release: 05.26.09
Rated PG
1 hour, 37 minutes

Second Run Seats

Product of Miami, Lucy Hill (Renée Zellweger, Down With Love), has her lemon-face and sour attitude uprooted from her cozy corporate office to a wood-paneled one in extremely rural Minnesota. Lucy's been sent to downsize a foodstuffs manufacturing plant, but until she downsizes that enormous chip on her shoulder, she'll get little help from the townsfolk or the hunky single-father/union representative, Ted (Harry Connick Jr, Copycat). Prolonged exposure to their good-hearted nature melts Lucy's frostbitten spirits and lonely heart.

I'll give you two unexpected reasons to see New in Town: Siobhan Fallon (Baby Mama) and J.K. Simmons (I Love You, Man). Simmons' role as plant manager Stu Kopenhafer is minor at best, but the man shines brighter from the shadows. Siobhan Fallon, on the other hand, steals the show away from whomever she shares the scene. As Lucy's assistant Blanche Gunderson, Siobhan performs the somewhat naive, seemingly simple-minded scrapper with pitch-perfect hilarity.

There is nothing particularly new in regards to New in Town's story. Standard fish-out-of-water shtick applies (performed amiably by Zellweger). Harry Connick Jr. has a goofy, panicked-father moment that he lands without a hitch. The budding romance follows familiar footsteps with one exception. Lucy and Ted get all hot and bothered at a completely unrealistic and awkwardly emotional moment. New in Town attaches a fairy tale, anti-corporation message as Lucy and her Minnesota peeps unite to quash their potential termination, but every awww-inducing scene has been telegraphed from the trailers.

Dirty Undies
It was a little hard to get all gooey over Harry Connick Jr.'s Ted. I think the mountain man beard obstructed that winning smile. At least they opted to explain away his accent in lieu of him attempting a Minnesotan one. There is some EXTREMELY mild sexual humor mainly involving Zellweger's undergarments, keeping New in Town firmly in its PG designation.

The Money Shot
New in Town is a sap-happy affair right down to the Fa-Who-Foray, Da-Who-Doray sing-along by the town tree at Christmas (I could be mistaken, but be on the lookout for a Christmas troll in the crowd!). If you can stomach uninventive rom-coms with uninspired titles, you can do worse than putting this on your queue.

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