New to Town (2009) Review – A love story they should have told better

I will not sit here and try to sell you on a movie that is mediocre at best. The plot is generic and contrived and there is no chemistry between the main characters. It is hard to watch a love story about two people who only seem to only tolerate each other. The movie does try to address some deep issues like how corporate America can ruin small rural towns, but it does not go deep enough. It shouldn’t, it is a rom com, but these scenes are more thought out and impressive than the romantic plot that seems to be thrown in there out of necessity.

The biggest problem with this movie is the pacing. They mix so many plots that they leave very little time to flesh any of them out fully. When she shifts from hating the town to wanting to save it seems to come almost out of nowhere because it is so sudden. I wish they would have abandoned the romance plot, that being the weakest in the movie. I wish movies like this would stop defining woman’s happiness by their relationship with me and instead focus on the deeper non-romantic connections they could make. If you take out the romance plot from this movie, it could turn into a heartwarming film about a woman who wants to save a town because of the friendships she has made in the process.

I would argue that it is the relationship that Blanche forges with Lucy that ultimately saves the town. The character Blanche is the only reason why I enjoyed this movie as much as I did. I Stopped following Lucy’s narrative early on because she is a generic character. Instead, I chose to follow Blanche closely. Blanche starts out the movie as this almost overbearing presence. She doesn’t stop talking and she is always inserting herself into Lucy’s life. But as the movie progresses it’s clear that Blanche is going out of her way to make sure Lucy feels welcomed in her town. I believe that her motives are altruistic and Blanche’s kindness is indeed genuine. This overbearing presence she has slowly becomes normal and scenes without her seem lifeless. I think the film does a great job at showing this progression of from annoying to friendly not only for Lucy, but for the audience as well. I think this friendship was the most important aspect of this films plot and I wish they developed it a lot more.  

My main issue with this movie is the love interest. They could have dropped him from the movie and it would not have changed the plot. He has such little impact in this movie that I forget his name. Instead, they should have taken more time to develop Lucy’s relationship with the town. They could have shown her slowly building a rapport with the townspeople and maybe even start developing a routine. They could have shown her going into a shop and the owner knows her by name and what she likes to order. I would have rather seen a heartwarming scene between Blanche and Lucy instead of the messy fight she has in the factory with the workers. This movie should have been more about her relationship with the town and factory.

If you are looking for a good romantic comedy, you have already seen better. Go watch those instead. If you are looking for a dumb movie to put in the background while you do chores, this is a valid choice. It could make a fun date night movie, the plot is simple and you do not need to pay attention to the movie to get the gist. There are worse ways to spend an hour and some change, but you probably won’t remember watching this movie.

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