New In Town

Harry Connick Jr. and Renee Zellweger cozy up in New In Town

Rated: 2/10
Maple/Lionsgate
Starring Renee Zellweger, Harry Connick Jr., Directed by Jonas Elma.

When Renee Zellweger first caught our attention, she was making decent film choices – Empire Records, Jerry Maguire, Chicago, and of course Bridget Jones Diary. But lately she’s been making odd rom-com choices (Down With Love, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) that have me questioning her Oscar win. New In Town would be her latest effort in making us believe she’s a comedic actress with impeccable timing.

Let me save you the scrolling through this review – neither she, nor this manipulative snoozefest, are funny. Zellweger plays a fish-outta-water executive from Miami sent to the frozen barren wasteland that is Minnesota. Filmed in Calgary, this film contains one too many weather jokes, and surmises that the folks in this chilly small town only love polka, Jesus-talk, and flannel shirts. Ooo, take that Weather Network.

This is like Men In Trees, the narcoleptic version.

The old formula of girl-meets-boy, girl-hates-boy, girl’s-contempt-for-boy-somehow-turns-into-love, misunderstanding-separates-boy-and-girl, and it all ends well is played out to the letter in this flick which relies too heavily on physical comedy for the guffaws when the script is too dull and lacking substance. For clarity, watch with baited breath as Harry Connick Jr. tries to get her out of a snowsuit, and ends up tossing her body about the snow like a blow-up doll.

Zellweger’s and Connick’s performances are simply adequate and there’s no on screen chemistry to speak of. And I couldn’t help but think during every one of her closeups about Family Guy‘s Aardvark description of her, and how perfectly adequate it is for her perma-wince.

Come the fuck on, Bridget!

About The Author

is a playwright, novelist, actress, and arts journalist sleeping in some forgotten corner of a European railway station. Her writing has appeared in The Malahat Review, Descant Literary Journal, Room Magazine, NOW Magazine, Chart Magazine, to name but a few. Christine cannot wear white without spilling something on it, but you’ll still find her, most likely, in the fridge at 4am. Visit her website.

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