“If Frank Capra were to make a movie today, it would probably look a lot like New in Town,” writes Hollywood & Fine’s Marshall Fine. “Of course, Frank Capra is dead. Then again, so is this movie.

“Certainly, you can feel the creative team behind this film trying to channel Capra, in a desperate voodoo sort of way. They’ve even got the economy on their side, with its brutalizing effect on the working class – to parallel Capra’s Depression-era classics.

“On the surface, the elements are there: It’s a comedy set during an economic downturn, about a corporate shark (Renee Zellweger) who discovers she has a heart just when she’s assigned to downsize a factory in a rural Minnesota town.

“But the script by Kenneth Rance and C. Jay Cox feels as though it was written by computer software programmed with joke algorithms. There’s no actual sense of humor at work. Jonas Elmer directs as though English is his second language — oh, wait, it is.”

Here’s Joe Leydon‘s Variety pan.