Monday, January 12, 2009

New in Town

Last night at work I was reading the Saturday paper and the front page news was about a movie that takes place in New Ulm. Here's the article:

Local businesses gearing up for film’s debut

By KURT NESBITT — Journal Staff Writer
POSTED: January 10, 2009

NEW ULM - Say, have you heard about that new movie that supposedly takes place here - what's it called? - "New In Town?"

It's going to premiere here at the end of the month, just like anywhere else across the country.

In the meantime, a group of local officials and business owners is busy working out ways they can wrap their arms around "New In Town."

The movie was not actually shot in New Ulm, but it takes place in a fictionalized of it, and it stars Renee Zellweger as a Miami businesswoman who agrees to transfer to the fictitious New Ulm in order to gain a promotion back in Miami and falls in love with Harry Connick Jr.'s character along the way.

"New In Town" will premiere Jan. 30 in New Ulm at all three screens of this city's three-screen movie theater.

The group, which consists of several downtown business owners and city officials, meets every week to come up with ideas on how they can create more awareness about New Ulm on a national level to bring people to see genuine article.

To get more people to notice the "real New Ulm," the group is planning a "potluck" premiere to try and trade on what they call "New Ulm Nice" that may feature one of the film's stars arriving on a fire engine or a snowmobile and possibly carrying a potluck to the red-carpet premiere.

The Mall of America will host a pre-screening of "New In Town" on Jan. 26, where star Harry Connick, Jr., will be present to sign autographs for the first 100 people who get wristbands. Kokesch said a 'tapioca' tasting and a 'winter' fashion show are also going to be part of the Jan. 26 event.

The tie-in with tapioca pudding is that the butter plant that Renee Zellweger's character is assigned to take charge of is repurposed into a tapioca factory.

Tickets for the pre-screening are available through the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce.

Canyon Outback is making leather jackets with the film's logo for Connick and Zellweger, which New Ulm Mayor Joel Albrecht will present at the film's official premiere on Jan. 30. The Chamber will also sell t-shirts with the film's logo on it.

"We're just in the initial planning phases for both events," said Barbara Stirling, director of the New Ulm Retail Development Corporation.

"This is just a round table discussion. Wheels are turning with ways we can promote the city of New Ulm," said Kokesch.

Carmike Cinemas, which owns the New Ulm 3 as well as a number of theaters in the Twin Cities, has agreed to help promote the movie.

They said AMPI, which had a representative at the meeting Friday, is apprehensive about how the film portrays their New Ulm butter plant. The film reportedly involves a butter plant on the verge of closure, which Renee Zellweger's character takes over and converts into a tapioca pudding factory.

Stirling said AMPI bought advertising in order to quell rumors that its real-life butter plant is closing.

"This needs to be appropriate, but we also need to realize that it will have residuals five years from now," Kokesch said.

I hadn't heard about any of this! Once home, I Googled "New in Town filming" and found out it was filmed in Winnipeg. WHY!? We could've had an awesome thing here in our town. I wonder why that didn't happen? I watched the trailer, and once again, we sound silly. J.K. Simons, the Dad from Juno (also took place in MN, but filmed elsewhere)and Siobhan Fallon sound like they were taught how to talk Minnesotan by the Fargo actors.

I am still excited to see this movie. I LOVE Harry Connick, Jr and am still excited, nonetheless, that our town is represented. I just hope that we don't get the same reaction that people had post-Fargo.

Here's the trailer. I love that song, too, by the by. (I can't find what it's called or who sings it!)

And the link for the


Brooke said...

Cat, I saw the previews for this and I definitely want to see it. Are you going to try to get tickets to the pre-screening and see Harry Connick, Jr.? I think that would be awesome.

Cat said...

I called Barbara Stirling at the Chamber and offered my services as a photographer/paparazzi. :-) I hope she decides to use my services!

jinxi~ aka angi said...

I loveeeee him too, I sooo want to be there. I hope she calls you back this would be fabulous!!!

I want to see the movie too!

ps: Im giving you a blogger award {to your photo blog}.. check it out via my blog. Love you chick! :)

Becky said...

So... are you going to go to the premiere at MOA???

Kimmy said...

Oh that would be so cool if she did get you to come! I get mad at CSI:Miami how the blonde chick talks. It's the most annoying southern accent I've ever heard, even if it is real. But I totally get what you mean :)