New in Town (short version)

 

Rated PG; 2 stars

Formula romantic comedy, a fish-out-of-water tale about tough, ambitious executive Lucy Hill (Renee Zellweger), who is sent by her mean old corporation to tiny New Ulm, Minn. (played by Winnipeg, Canada), to retool a money-losing food-manufacturing plant. In the snowy, frigid town, she encounters a group of escapees from some community theater production of Fargo: just plain folks, don't ya know, who are worried that this highfalutin outsider is going to cost them jobs at the factory. At their first meeting, Lucy squabbles with Ted (Harry Connick Jr.), a manly union rep and single father with a no-nonsense attitude. You can take it from there. Stereotypes are reinforced in the lazy romcom and Zellweger does little more than seethe, wince and twinkle. I could go on, but taking swipes at New in Town feels like having a fistfight with vapor. 96 minutes.

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