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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The film means well, but it relies heavily on broad stereotypes -- especially those of career women and small-town people in Minnesota. A woman appears to be cold-hearted and judgmental at first but changes over the course of the movie. Characters lie by omission but later feel bad and try to make amends.
Violence & Scariness
A man is accidentally shot, but it's played for laughs. Some yelling.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some kissing; references to a woman's nipples and thong.
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Relatively mild swearing, including "damn," "a--hole," "ass," "oh my God," "hell," "son of a bitch," and a few uses of "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
Closeups on products like high-heeled shoes and handbags (the Chanel logo is visible on one). Signage for various tbusinesses, etc., including UPS and Munck Foods.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some beer drinking at a bar; a woman gets drunk on wine when her car gets stuck in a snow bank.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this clichéd romantic comedy has some charm but relies heavily on broad stereotypes -- the driven career woman who melts for the right guy, gee-whiz Midwesterners with Fargo accents, etc. -- for its humor. And its message is an unsurprising one about learning to appreciate more of life. Expect some relatively mild swearing (including "s--t"), a few scenes with drinking (including one in which the main character gets drunk), and some kissing and sexual innuendo (mentions of a woman's nipples and thong, for example), but no nudity or violence. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Don't be surprised if you're overwhelmed by deja vu while watching NEW IN TOWN, because it isn't fresh at all, title notwithstanding. It resembles almost every other fish-out-of-water romantic comedy -- with a dash of Northern Exposure thrown in -- and doesn't do much to move the genre forward. Girl meets boy, who's her polar opposite. Girl hates boy, and vice versa. Girl and boy get to see each other's tender side via predictable plot point. Girl and boy fall in love. Monkey wrench appears; relationship seems doomed. But, naturally, girl and boy work it out.
Still, despite its predictability, the film does have some charm. The cast gels well, thanks in no small part to the presence of veterans like Frances Conroy and J.K. Simmons. More importantly, the two leads do have strong chemistry, and Zellweger exudes such warmth that you can't help but like her. Or at least you can't help wanting to like her, even when she does patently foolish things -- wearing a suit jacket in the middle of a Minnesota winter, for instance -- that seem more like clichhd storytelling than anything else. New in Town isn't particularly revolutionary nor memorable, but it does get points for trying.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.