New in Town With Renée Zellweger – a Movie Review

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New In Town Released January 30: New in Town, the clever new comedy from Lionsgate and Gold Circle Films, is a timely and appropriate movie for these economic times. Starring Renée Zellweger and Harry Connick, Jr.,  New in Town focuses on the acquisition and threatened closing of a small plant in Minnesota.

In the movie New In Town , Lucy Hill leaves the warm climes of Florida and arrives in the frigid small town of Ulm, Minnesota, ready to do whatever it takes to fast-track her career to the next level. She is instructed to modernize the equipment at the Ulm plant and cut half the workforce. The workers at the plant have already run off former company men, so when petite Lucy Hill shows up in her stylish, red, high-heeled pumps, it looks like it will be an easy task to get rid of her. But Lucy is made of sterner stuff and learns to love the town and the people.

New In Town Not Just Men in Trees : My first reaction was that New In Town was going to be a knock-off of “Men in Trees,” which premiered on September 12, 2006 on ABC and starred Anne Heche. If you liked “Men in Trees,” there certainly are quite a few similarities, including the characteristics of Lucy Hill and Marin Frist (Anne Heche) as well as Lucy’s love interest, Ted Mitchell (Harry Connick Jr.) and Marin’s love interest, Jack Slattery (James Tupper). Both productions feature successful, driven, big-city career women who suddenly find themselves thrust into the very cold middle of nowhere dressed in fashionable but totally unsuitable clothes who find partially bearded manly men in the middle of the snowy wilds. And much like the television show, New in Town is predictable and formulaic. But New in Town is an outstanding movie for several reasons.

Primarily, New in Town succeeds because of the fine acting of the supporting cast, the clever dialogue, the touching story line and believable chemistry between all of the characters. The timing is excellent – viewers laugh and feel compassion at all the right moment as New in Town flows smoothly from one scene to the next.

Added to the smooth blend of comedy and emotion in New in Town is the equal mixture of romantic Valentine’s chick flick with a movie men should enjoy. There is a lot of good-natured fun poked at the hard-driven, corporate, big-city-loving, high-heel wearing Lucy Hill. She is put in all sorts of situations at the VFW, crow hunting and also at the plant that men and women will both find amusing. The men in New in Town are all men’s men.

There is also a sweet, family-friendly, small-town-values undercurrent to the story, topped off by Blanche Gunderson (Siobhan Fallon Hogan). Blanche mixes tapioca pudding and scrap booking with sincere faith in action and conversations about Jesus.

New in Town is a real boost, if not to the economy, then certainly to people like me who are going through loosing their jobs and facing an uncertain future. New In Town will give you hope that even the worst situation can be turned around.

New in Town Cast: Renee Zellweger (“Lucy Hill”), Harry Connick, Jr. (“Ted Mitchell”), Siobhan Fallon (“Blanche Gunderson”), J.K. Simmons (“Stu Anderson”) Frances Conroy (“Trudy Van Uuden”)

New in Town Release Date: 1/30/2009

New in Town Rating: PG for brief strong language

New in Town Running Time: 96 minutes

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New In Town movie screening Janury 28, 2008

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New In Town Not Just Men in Trees


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