Years ago there was a commercial that went something like this: Two clumsy people accidently bump into each other. The one says, “Hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter.” The other person goes, “You got peanut butter in my chocolate.” They each try the new blended flavor – love it – and voila! The peanut butter cup was the Ebony and Ivory of its day. Proving once again that opposites often not only attract, they can actually make a situation better.

Unfortunately, you won’t find that here with “New in Town,” the latest yawner starring Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr. But before I get into it, let me preface by saying I like them both. Really. I do. And that’s the nicest thing I can say in this review.

I’d love to live by my Mother’s creed: If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. But that particular creed isn’t doable when you’re a writer…especially when you’re writing a review about a horrible film. I mean HORRIBLE! (YES, IN CAPS!)

The formula’s the same old/same old: Zellweger is a corporate player from sunny FL dispatched by the big bad corporation to a run-of-the-mill warehouse in brutally-cold MN. Her initial task was to get in, shut it down, and return unscathed. Of course this doesn’t happen. She gets in, comes to know the little people, meets a bearded, blue collar Connick (who’s a union rep no less!) and falls in love.

You know the rest.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not against the formula. Let’s be real: it’s worked for (at least) hundreds of years (West Side Story is just a rehashed diverse Romeo and Juliet). But those types of formulas work because we care about those characters. One of the main problems with New in Town is that it seems THEY don’t care. Zellweger and Connick have absolutely no onscreen chemistry. None.  It’s like they’re wishing they were somewhere else — which is something we all had in common.

There are a few ‘cute’ moments (the hunting scene to be exact), but not much else. Even the look of the film was of poor quality. I felt sorry for everyone associated with this film. They should all fire their managers (or agents, or parents) or whomever it was that convinced them to participate in this film.

So to honor the memory of my Mother, I’ll say something nice: I like cheese.

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