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Movie Review: New In Town

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Movie theater prices these days are going up by the minute, and a poor college couple can’t afford to go see every movie that comes out that looks appealing. Thus, as soon as the movie comes out on DVD it’s a date night.

My fiancé and I (mostly me) wanted to see New In Town when it was in theaters, but never got around to it. It was released in theaters January 30, 2009 and came out on DVD on May 26, 2009. Although my fiancé and I are watching it five months later, it still seemed pretty new to us.

Renee Zellweger plays Lucy Hill, a high-powered consultant in love with her upscale Miami lifestyle. When Lucy is sent to no-name town in Minnesota to oversee the restructuring of a blue collar manufacturing plant, she finds herself completely out of her element.

From the frosty reception from the locals to the icy roads and freezing weather, Lucy eventually warms up to the small town. And not only does she find herself attached to the town, but to a particular volunteer firefighter and union worker as well.

Harry Connick Jr. delivers a surprising performance in the movie as Ted Mitchell. His character loves the small town and his simple lifestyle. While dealing with the death of his wife and raising a teenage daughter, Ted finds himself captivated and intrigued by Lucy.

Although they don't hit it off at first, the two eventually form a wonderful friendship that blossoms into a romantic relationship. With the help of several supporting characters such as Blanche Gunderson (Siobhan Fallon Hogan), Stu Kopenhafer (J.K. Simmons), and Trudy Van Uuden (Frances Conroy), the movie turns out to be just as much comedy as it is romance.

I truly enjoyed the plot, just as much as I enjoyed the unique characters in the exceptional little town. Being a southern girl myself, I wouldn’t know what to do when stuck in a blizzard surrounded by cows. I found myself laughing out loud during various honest yet hilarious parts of the movie.

From the Minnesota accents to the tapioca pudding, the characters make the movie unique. The script and filming are both excellent. Capturing cars sliding over ice fishing, and a woman trying to pee, but can’t because her zipper is stuck… reality put on film.

When the plot hits the climax, Lucy finds herself questioning which girl to go forth with: the businesswoman or the boss of a couple hundred great small-town people. After reaching a happy medium, Lucy ends up saving the day with her best friend Blanche’s homemade tapioca pudding. She learns to budge and have a heart, while still using her brilliant business brain. It reminded me of something that many women today have to deal with: whether to be the bitchy businesswoman that gets ahead, or someone who has a heart but risks being plowed over by the man.

In the end, Lucy realizes that she loves being a part of the small town in Minnesota. She loves the warmth of the God-fearing, scrapbooking, tapioca-making women, as well as Ted Mitchell. The movie surprised me. I expected it to be another chick flick that had my fiancé bored to tears. Instead, it surprised us both by being very funny.

It was a feel-good movie that had me smiling at the end. I would recommend it to any couple that enjoys watching movies together. It has some very amusing scenes, as well as a few romantic moments that kept both of us very entertained and happy.

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