Every man must do his duty and so I did mine taking the girlfriend to see this movie. Renee Zellwegger, queen of the genre "chickus flickus" swaps her big pants for killer heels as ruthless career woman Lucy Hill in this small town/big town rom-com.
Drawing the short straw and unceremoniously dispatched from sunny Miami to a freezing small town in Minnesota (near Canada apparently), the unfortunate Ms Hill's task is to halve the headcount of the Muncke food processing plant; the town's main source of employment and it's lifeblood. After kitting herself out from head to toe in North Face, she surprisingly finds herself warming to the town and it's welcoming (for the most part) people and in particular Ted Mitchell, the union rep (Harry Connick Jr.) thus causing a serious conflict of interest. Rescued from the snow by the bearded "beer drinking pick-up driving loser", her heart slowly melts and she finds herself empathising...and more with the townspeople.
This is gentle stuff, all well acted, if a little predictable but none the worse for it. The "fish out of water" card is played but not overly so, same goes for the small town/big town resentments and clichés. This part was written for Zellwegger who can wear killer heels or anoraks and look hot and girl-next-door in the same film. Small town "hicks" come out on top, of course, but that's the nature of this type of movie and it's not bad stuff.
This has mum's birthday/Christmas/Mother's Day present written all over it. I'm just glad I didn't have to sit through Momma Mia (7/10)