"Not That Funny"
NEW IN TOWN is the story of Lucy, an ambitious career woman from Miami who is assigned to a small Minnesota town in order to lay off half the workforce and modernize a production plant. However, once there, she befriends the locals, especially the union representative, and her life is never the same.
At first, Lucy is taken aback by the small town mentality, and she makes a list of the employees to terminate quickly. However, when the union rep and part-time firefighter, Ted, rescues her from her car in a snow bank, she begins to warm up to the people in the town. Helping Ted’s teenage daughter get ready for her first school dance bonds Ted and Lucy together, and they discover a love for each other.
However, the corporate office which sent Lucy decides to shut down the plant altogether. Lucy concocts an idea. With the help of a local woman’s secret recipe for tapioca, they are able to save the plant and the livelihoods of the residents.
NEW IN TOWN has a very charming plot, but it covers very familiar ground without bringing much new to the story. Many of the jokes fall flat, and scenes that are supposed to be funny simply aren’t. There’s some illogic such as Lucy arrives in Minnesota in winter without expecting it to be freezing cold. The “joke” is played out numerous times. Finally, the story moves along in a “straight line” without any surprises, and the ending is fully expected from the beginning.
The movie, however, contains a small town group of people that seem to be committed Christians for the most part. One character mentions Jesus often and even asks Lucy if she has “found Jesus.” To which Lucy answers that she didn’t know He was missing. While at the beginning these references to Christians are negative, these characters do come around in the end to be portrayed in a positive light. A turning point for Lucy is when she comes out to the small town square to hear the town all sing the Christmas carol “Come All Ye Faithful.”
The movie is mostly without negative elements. Even the foul language is mild, compared to other movies. The cast is strong, but the story is weak. With such a positive message at times, it is a shame the movie isn’t better.
(BB, CC, Ab, LL, V, AA, M) Strong moral worldview of wanting to help others along with both positive and negative portrayals of Christians, but the positive becomes stronger; 16 obscenities and two profanities; man shot and wounded offscreen in hunting accident; no sexual content but “making out” is implied; no nudity, but revealing blouse; drinking of wine and beer, plus drunkenness; no smoking; and, corporate layoffs without concern for people.
NEW IN TOWN stars Renee Zellweger as Lucy, an ambitious career woman from Miami. She is assigned to a small Minnesota town to lay off half the workforce and modernize a production plant. Once there, however, she befriends the locals, especially the union representative, and her life is never the same. When Ted, the union rep and part-time firefighter, rescues her from her car in a snow bank, she warms up to the townspeople. Helping Ted’s teenage daughter get ready for her first school dance bonds Ted and Lucy together, and they discover a love for each other. Lucy has to save the day when the company decides to close the plant.
NEW IN TOWN has a very charming plot, but covers familiar ground without bringing much new to this familiar story. Also, many jokes fall flat, and some are too repetitive. The movie contains a small town group of people that seem to Christians. While at the beginning these references to Christians are negative, the movie eventually portrays these Christian characters in a strong positive light. With such a positive message, it’s a shame the movie isn’t better.