Renee Zellweger stars opposite Harry Connick Jr. in this snow-packed romantic comedy. NEW IN TOWN begins in Miami, home to Lucy Hill (Zellweger), a single, high-powered executive on the fast track to being a CEO. With her spiked heels, plush bachelorette pad, and fierce collection of power suits, Lucy is unprepared when her boss sends her to snowy Minnesota to work on-site at one of the company's factories. Reluctantly leaving her sunny home, Lucy lands in New Ulm, a small town distinguished by a thick Midwestern accent, a strong work ethic, and an appropriately skeptical attitude toward big-city newcomers like Lucy, who finds herself in a brutal battle against several factory workers, a nosy assistant (Siobhan Fallon), and a stubborn union rep (Connick) who, as fate would have it, just happens to be a love interest as well.
Zellweger appears a bit wooden at the start of the film but eases into her role as the film progresses. As her character grows more comfortable in her own skin and develops some empathy towards her new neighbors, we see Zellweger's familiar charm emerge. Much of the film's humor comes at the expense of Minnesotans, but the cast delivers the jokes in good fun. Director Jonas Elmer captures some chemistry between his two leads, though the film doesn't rely too heavily on this romance. Instead, it explores the differences in small- versus big-town life, exposing the unique, homey appeal of the former. By focusing on the people working behind the scenes, NEW IN TOWN celebrates a way of American life that is rarely the focus of Hollywood romantic comedies.