New in Town

New in Town

This film made waves in my friend circles when it came out because I actually lived in New Ulm, Minnesota.

And BOY do I have grievances.

As a Minnesota native and frequent traveler, I was unsurprised that they didn’t film at the Minneapolis airport. MSP is not a particularly photogenic location for filming, but you’re giving a false impression of my state.

1 Grievance.

While it’s true that New Ulm gets cold, Novembers are often brown and dreary. Rarely, if ever, do we experience the type of freezing blizzard depicted in the film before Thanksgiving.

2 Grievances.

New Ulm is a SMALL town. And the downtown streets are NARROW. When she actually reaches downtown the streets look wide enough for a six-lane highway.

3 Grievances.

This is such an awkward film! Not everyone in Minnesota is this awkward.

4 Grievances.

There’s no lake in New Ulm. No bog. The quarry is several miles outside of town and you wouldn’t run into it by accident. Are you sure New Ulm was the best place to “film” this?

5 Grievances.

It’s November and when her alarm goes off it’s WAY to bright outside. If it’s November the sun isn’t up until 7:00am, and it was high in the sky. Do Miami people just sleep late?

6 Grievances.

New In Town is a very predictable movie, it’s basically a hallmark property, except I’m fairly certain it isn’t.

If you haven’t seen it, New In Town is a “culture shock” film. Someone is placed outside their element and their goal is counter to the goal of the residents. Over time she gets to know the people, sees their side of things, and learns to love their culture. Oh, she also falls in love with the first single man she meets.

The acting is mostly okay? I laughed at the parts about Minnesota being cold, because it’s true. The first morning when she got out of bed I thought was funny. And I did laugh when the factory workers were secretly having a drinking game every time she used a buzzword.

The film hit on all the classic tropes and gags. It followed a story arc which is mostly tried and true. It had some sentimental moments and some funny bits.

Most people don’t fall in love with Minnesota for the winters. We tend to love Minnesota for the summers, the falls, and the eternal disappointment from our sports teams. But maybe things are different in Selkirk and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Where they filmed the “Minnesota” parts of the movie.)

I enjoyed the film, for what it was. I don’t know that I can recommend it… It feels old. Part of that is the “joke” that small Minnesota towns are ancient and “backwards” which is not inherently true. The other part is that the characters don’t seem real. The parody is a little too prevalent a tad too much over the top.

When looking for romcoms, you could certainly do worse, but you could do a whole lot better too.

And yes, I’m still a little salty that the town where I grew up is poorly depicted in a mediocre film.

7 Grievances.

Review by Phil Wels

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