Movie Mom

Movie Mom


New In Town

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG for language and some suggestive material
Profanity:Strong language for a PG including b-word and other insults
Nudity/Sex:Some crude humor
Alcohol/Drugs:Comic drunkenness, drinking game, drinking to deal with stress, jokes about drinking
Violence/Scariness:Hunting, guns, gun accident but no one seriously hurt
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:January 30, 2009
DVD Release Date:May 26, 2009

Despite the title, there is nothing at all new about this romantic comedy, but it manages to endear itself anyway.

Renée Zellweger plays uptight and ambitious Lucy Hill, an ambitious, stiletto heel-wearing executive based in Miami who thinks she can get a promotion by taking on a new assignment to oversee the retrofitting and downsizing of a manufacturing plant in Minnesota. As she discovers over and over, she is clearer on the theory than the reality, starting with concepts like “cold” and “snow.” And “factory” and “downsizing.” Casual decisions about eliminating jobs are a lot easier when looking at budgets and bar charts, not people.

The people Lucy meets in the small town of New Ulm are straight from the Ma and Pa Kettle school of movie country folk: cute, quirky, corny, colorful, and sometimes cantankerous. They are given to expressions like “Oh, cry in my cheese-beer soup!” And of course there is the handsome single dad (Harry Connick, Jr. as Ted) with whom Lucy will have to get off on the wrong (stiletto-clad) foot before discovering an unexpected (only to her) connection.

What works here is the easy chemistry between the two leads (despite the distraction of whatever Zellweger has done to her face). While it may seem at first as though the film is making fun of the locals, it is Lucy who takes most of the literal and metaphoric pratfalls. The film shows an unusual level of respect in a mainstream film for the New Ulmers’ religious faith, sense of community, generosity, and resilience. Both sides have to adjust their assumptions and discard their prejudices, but making Lucy’s journey the steeper climb gives the story some added sweetness. There may be nothing new here, but like one character’s favorite recipe, sometimes bland can still be tasty.



  • Mike

    I was surprised this got a PG and I was wondering when I saw it two weeks ago if it was PG then. The kissing scene was slightly heavy for a PG, but you are right, kids don’t need to see this. This is directed at adults that want to laugh at a romantic comedy.

  • Michael

    Hi Nell,
    I know this has nothing to do with this movie but do you have reviews or comments for Slumdog Millionare and The Reader? Thanks.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Not yet, Michael. I am not always able to post reviews of all the movies I’d like to. I’ve seen both and thought they were outstanding and hope to be able to write something about them before the Oscars.

  • AKenjiB

    B? Seems way too easy. In my opinion, I thought this film was horrible. Worst film of 2009 that I’ve seen frankly. It’s so cliched, so dull, nothing interesting. Not very funny, not very fun, just boring and predictable.
    Although, i gotta say this is probably the most inappropriate PG film that I’ve seen.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks, AKenjiB. I agree that the PG rating was not appropriate — I recommended it for middle schoolers and up. And I noted in the review that it was predictable. But I thought it was far from the worst film I saw this year. (Consider yourself very lucky you did not see “Miss March” or “Beth Cooper, I Love You.”) I liked the chemistry between the leads and the rare respectful portrayal of country people, especially people of faith. But I appreciate your comment, which will be very helpful to people who are looking for guidance about whether this film is right for them and their families.

  • AKenjiB

    Well, i have mostly avoided horrible films this year and i do agree that the chemistry was decent, but it was just too cliched to keep my interest.
    Fortunately I didn’t see Miss March or I love you, Beth Cooper.
    i wonder if the director was expecting a PG rating.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    I strongly suspect they make a few edits to the film to get a PG when they saw that the movie was not good enough to get a significant audience at a PG-13. Always a bad sign! And there was material in the film that was inappropriate for a PG, but then the MPAA’s rating system is never reliable.

Previous Posts

New MacArthur Genius Award Winners Include Alison Bechdel and Joshua Oppenheimer
It is always a treat to see the worthy awardees of the MacArthur Foundation's "genius grants." The foundations awards are unique because you cannot apply for them and there are no restrictions on the use of the money given to the recipients. The awards committee reviews the work of people making ex

posted 9:53:29am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Happy Birthday US Constitution!
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzAJyK0ovo8[/youtube] It was on September 17, 1789 that the US Constitution was approved. The Bill of Rights was not added until later, but let's celebrate that, too. How many can you name? This will help you remember them. [youtube]https://www.youtu

posted 8:00:21am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Days and Nights With Katie Holmes and Allison Janney
Inspired by Chekhov's "The Seagull," this is the story of a weekend at a country house that includes a famous actress, her discontented son, and people who love the wrong people and are angry at each other -- sometimes at the same time. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEs6vXztmBM[/youtub

posted 8:00:41am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in "Serena"
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence re-team in "Serena," which looks very intriguing but does not yet have a US release date. Stay tuned. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-wFHiZHZVaU?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:35am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Contest: Win a DVD of Ella the Elephant
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PL7Eup7JXScZz_ZAyJKN2XMIdAVp-n3iCW" frameborder="0"] Join Ella the Elephant and her kindhearted friends in this all-new animated series from Disney Junior featuring 8 charming episodes. Elephant Island is home to many

posted 3:37:58pm Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.