Metascore
29

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 32
  2. Negative: 21 out of 32
  1. New in Town might have better played on the less demanding stage of, say, a Lifetime made-for-TV movie.
  2. 25
    As a comic fable for hard times, New in Town is irredeemably moronic.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    You've seen New in Town before, and you've seen it done better. Still, it's a sweet-hearted bit of anemia, pleasant and obvious, and there are a few honest laughs to it.
  4. 30
    The laughs and emotional moments are so weak that director Jonas Elmer has no choice but to tweak them with music cues and bland guitar-rock.
  5. 50
    Do you like this sort of rom-com? It's a fair example of its type, not good, but competent.
  6. New in Town is "The Pajama Game" without the songs, the laughs or the bare-knuckled realism.
  7. The only point of interest in New in Town is sociological. In the current economic climate, this comedy about workers whose livelihood is rescued by a benevolent boss represents the ultimate wish-fulfillment fantasy. Don't spend your hard-earned discretionary cash on it.
  8. A gentle, traditional (like, from the last century) romantic comedy.
  9. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    30
    The new comedy is flat, the romance is listless, the pacing is sluggish, and the fish-out-of-water flops -- flip-flop, flip-flop, I can hear it still.
  10. 38
    The ghastly first half of this romantic comedy -- is as close to unwatchable as any moment in "Bride Wars." The fact that it stars Renée Zellweger just makes it harder to bear.
  11. A romantic comedy that's neither romantic nor funny.
  12. 0
    Excruciatingly unfunny.
  13. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    35
    There's no chemistry between Zellweger and Connick, and there's not a moment in which anything anyone does feels remotely plausible.
  14. The first Hollywood feature from Danish filmmaker Jonas Elmer, New in Town is so choppy that it would seem to have been edited with a pickax.
  15. Reviewed by: Olivia Putnal
    38
    Although it wasn't quite the comedy we had hoped for, the idea behind it is pretty cute; we just wished the laughs weren't so awkward and forced.
  16. 38
    The movie has little to recommend it and more than a few things to encourage those who pursue quality cinema to stay away.
  17. 25
    This crap is supposed to be the chick flick antidote to Super Bowl fever. Ha!
  18. 30
    On second thought, maybe just about everyone should stay away from this drearily cheerful little picture that isn't nearly as funny or as heartwarming -- or even as topical, given the economic climate -- as it thinks it is.
  19. Zellweger takes an otherwise passable mainstream comedy and all but ruins it with her lack of effort.
  20. It resorts to a story line so predictable that its willingness to go so earnestly into unoriginal territory is doubly disappointing since its first half had so much more going for it.
  21. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    30
    One of many burdensome tasks required of the viewer of this fish-out-of-water love story. The toughest of all: caring about any of the characters in this smug, check-off-the-boxes comedy.
  22. 50
    New In Town grinds its plucky protagonist through a predictable arc from dispassionate big-city ice queen to redeemed small-town tenderheart.
  23. As for the locals, they speak like extras from "Fargo," although, on this go-round, that weird Swedish accent has somehow lost its power to amuse.
  24. Strictly old hat -- and a poorly assembled hat at that.
  25. Watching Ms. Zellweger’s joyless performance, you have to wonder what happened to this formerly charming actress who not so long ago seemed on the verge of becoming a softer, more vulnerable Shirley MacLaine.
  26. Reviewed by: Jason Buchanan
    63
    It has a certain Midwestern charm that settles calmly in the stomach, making the viewer feel warm, comfortable, and quick to smile.
  27. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    25
    To say that New in Town is the worst movie of this fledgling year is to damn it with faint praise. It may be one of the worst movies of any year. Not content to be merely inane and predictable, it is downright insulting, humorlessly deriding those who choose to live in rural America, labor in factories or have a strong Christian faith.
  28. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    30
    It doesn't help that Zellweger, in an unfortunate attempt to make the aud appreciate her character's uptightness, spends many of the early scenes moving about as stiff as a flagpole in January.
  29. Reviewed by: Brian Miller
    40
    The movie wrong-foots Zellweger from the start. She's not enough the ice queen, like Sigourney Weaver in "Working Girl," for us to accept her transition into adorable Melanie Griffith.
  30. It's unfunny at best and borderline-amateur at worst, notwithstanding the desperate efforts of Renée Zellweger.
  31. Seriously, though, watching New in Town left me feeling as pained as Zellweger, playing Lucy Hill, looks.
User Score
4.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 10
  2. Negative: 5 out of 10
  1. hughie
    Feb 11, 2009
    7
    Not great, but much more entertaining than the bulk of these reviews would lead you to believe.
  2. ChadS.
    Feb 4, 2009
    4
    No worldly sophisticate by any stretch of the imagination, Marge Gunderson(Frances McDormand) displayed all the tell-tale signs of living in a small-town, but she was smart, on her own terms, funny voice notwithstanding. The Brainerd detective is the sort of character that's sorely missing in "New in Town", a person who could put the city girl in her place. The waitress tries. At the diner, the waitress ridicules Lucy(Renee Zellweger) for believing that the town of New Ulm celebrates a holiday which pays homage to the gopher. But really, the joke is on the old woman and the diner patrons, because that's the extent of the insularity Lucy surmises these rural folks embody. This company henchwoman makes the Bill Murray character in Harold Ramis' "Groundhog Day" seem congenial. At some point, however, Lucy's condesension will come to a halt, and "voila", the people she despises suddenly becomes the people she cherishes. But the manner in which Lucy goes about her transformation seems even more unearned than what is usually part and parcel of the rom-com formula. She simply gets into a car accident and emerges from the accident, a changed woman. This near-death experience negates the occasion for these Minnesota denizens to prove their mettle as Lucy's equals, and truly earn her respect. Instead of feeling contempt for these "lowly" people, now she pities them. Now she has to save them; her dear, dear underlings. Thanks to an undiagnosed concussion, this professional woman, on the fast track to VP stewardship, can now enjoy the simple things in life, like put on a scarf and join the carollers, as they all hold candles in open-mouthed earnestness around a lighted Christmas tree. For "New in Town" to transcend its initial patronizing attitude towards country life, Blanche Gunderson(Sibohan Fallon) needed to launch her "Tapioca Pudding Boom" without Lucy's marketing know-how. As for Ted(Harry Connick Jr.), he has the steering wheel column to thank for his good fortune. Full Review »
  3. Nov 16, 2013
    3
    New in Town drove me out.
    Really poor script, no laughs whatsoever, and bad acting. The movie is bland and utterly worthless, and the ending
    is barely existent; it just sort of ends when the writers got bored. Full Review »