New in Town (2009)

New in TownWhen I go to see a romantic comedy, which I always do reluctantly, I expect a love affair and a lot of laughter. No more, no less. “New in Town” delivers all these, and is quite successful, as well.

“New in Town” is a story of a business woman, who is sent by her company to a small town to modernize one of the factories there. Unlucky for her, a woman from Miami, the factory is in New Ulm, Minnesota. On her way from being just a visitor to becoming a citizen, she meets local folks, most of them curious but friendly people, and has all kinds of problems, which eventually makes her revalue her priorities.

The characters are all likeable, as it usually happens in romantic comedies. The main character, Lucy, is portrayed by Renée Zellweger, who is perfect for the role. She’s a good comedy actress, and she proves that in every scene. I’ve never like “Bridget Jones;” I don’t find it funny, at all. However, in “New” Zellweger made me laugh many times. Her partner in crime is Ted, starred by Harry Connick Jr., who also turns out great. I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers him from (one of my favorite thrillers) “Copycat” (1995). I still shiver at the thought of his performance there (he played a psychopath Daryll Lee Cullum). In “New” he has one scene that reminded me of that performance – when he talks to his daughter’s date. He’s so convincing that I was almost scared. Anyway, besides these two, there are many interesting characters, for example, friendly Blanche (Siobhan Fallon), or grumpy Stu (J.K. Simmons).

The plot is awfully predictable, but I knew that even before watching the movie (every romantic comedy is predictable). In spite of that, I enjoyed it. It’s hysterical. The audience responded with bursts of laughter to every situational joke because those were simply funny. I think it’s a huge advantage of this production. By contrast, I remember a very bad comedy I watched a couple of months ago, “Bride Wars.” It was a total disaster. There was nothing to laugh at. Anyhow, “New in Town” is by far better.

One more element that affects my judgment is the fact there’s snow in the movie. I adore snow, ice, and Christmas time, altogether. It’s all there. The snow stretches actually play an important part; for instance, when Lucy is stranded in her car in the middle of snowy nowhere.

Finally, it makes me thinking about the American Dream. It seems it is only realized in fairytales like that. The hard work and honesty are rewarded, and everyone lives happily ever after. Interestingly enough, the same theme seems to be refuted in production more realistic. One way or another, I let myself be led astray to more serious reflections.

To put it simply, “New in Town” is a feel-good movie. I’d even say it’s an escapist entertainment. In comparison to other recent productions within the same genre, I find it pleasant and funny. Tapioca rules!

Long days, pleasant nights,

Veronica Bazydlo

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