Downsize this

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Hey, did you know it gets cold in Minnesota in the winter? And that really expensive heels are probably not the best shoe choice for a trip to a dairy plant?

If so, then you're smarter than any high-powered businesswoman. At least any you'd find in New in Town. It's a world I really hope isn't paralleled anywhere off screen, because these people are far too stupid to exist.

It kicks off with a heaping spoonful of hokey small-town antics, Fargo accents and the suggestion that visiting big-city folks from the corporation that owns their local plant don't know what they're in for from the locals.

Into the land of scrapbooking and appliqued sweaters arrives Lucy Hill (Renee Zellweger), sent by corporate in Miami to do some streamlining and downsizing. A clash with the manly local union rep (Harry Connick Jr.) inevitably leads to love and a wacky, yet gross, dairy product fight on the plant floor.

The majority of the humor is based on a total lack of common sense or common courtesy, and it stiffly falls flat. At first the utter condescension to Middle America displayed by screenwriters Ken Rance and C. Jay Cox is jaw-dropping (at least Danish director Jonas Elmer can claim ignorance), but they don't do Zellweger any favors either. Her character's fabulous accessories turn out to be way more fun than she is.

"New in Town"

Opens Friday

Grade: D