New in Town
Imagine Local Hero shorn of wit, poetry and atmosphere and you have New In Town, a cheeseball rom-com from Danish TV director Jonas Elmer. Renee Zellweger plays Lucy Hill, a corporate high-flier from sunny Miami who comes to the Minnesota backwater of New Ulm (population 13,365) to restructure a manufacturing plant. Clichéd fish-out-of-water situations pile up as Lucy struggles to assert herself over the snowy weather, the strangely accented town gossips, and doe-eyed local hunk Ted Mitchell (Harry Connick Jr, sporting a variety of plaid shirts and catalogue knitwear). While the Canadian locations fail to convince, Zellweger and Connick Jr’s professionalism can’t paper over a mean-spirited attitude to small-town life which Elmer’s feeble attempts at Capra-esque social concern can’t overcome. With personable supporting players like JK Simmons and Francis Conroy wasted in thankless minor roles, the laboured whimsy of New In Town turns up dead on arrival.
General release from Fri 27 Feb.