When I saw a trailer for this film, I saw it compared with "Fargo," the Coen brothers classic. My spouse and I were both in need of a laugh so we went to see it.
I must agree with at least one other review that it's an absurdly predictable story. Boy meets girl, they despise each other, yet fall in love and they all live happily ever after. That element of the story was a letdown. But there were enough laughs to redeem the story.
I'll paraphrase, and perhaps add a little to another review: Rene plays Lucy Hill, a rising Yuppie corporate exec based in Miami. The company decides to send someone to Minnesota to close one of their plants. None of the guys will do it so Lucy volunteers. She, in true, corporate tradition, has her eye on corporate VP, something she's going to get when she faithfully fulfills the company's goals, right?
Well, when she gets to MN, she has so little perception of the conditions--cold, slippery--that she is, alas, a fish out of water. She meets her assistant, masterfully performed by Siobhan Fallon, who is an exaggeration of Frances McDormand's role in "Fargo." Her one-liners had both my spouse and I "ROFL"ing. I do have a comment though on Fallon's (Blanche Gunderson's) monolog: She asked Lucy if she's found Jesus, and that became the cause for a burst of laughter from both Lucy and presumably the audience. I thought that question to be slightly incongruous; it's something one would have more likely experienced in, say, Mississippi or Georgia than in New Ulm, MN.
Well, then, Lucy, while secretly trying to close the plant, meets fireman Ted Mitchell (Harry Connick) when she flew off the icy road. They eventually fall in love... Well, the synopsis has already been written here so I won't repeat it.
In the process, not only is love fallen into, but Lucy decides that, shucks, these are nice people. (The story reminded me of Michael J. Fox's "Doc Hollywood" and countless other scripts.) She decides to keep the place open, and they come up with a new product, blah, blah, blah.
From an honest perspective, while I was laughing at the script, I found that portion of the story to be a complete fantasy. Most of us know how corporations work these days. First, the product they came up with (no, I won't give it away here and spoil the story) wouldn't compete with the corporate, pre-packaged and advertised product. Second, no, the corporation's not going to say, "Aw, shucks, let's be nice to these folks whom Lucy told us are are so quaint."
Then, without giving any more away, Lucy and Ted fall in love, and they all lived happily ever after.
Hmmm. I'm quite critical of the story. So why do I give it four stars? Because of the laughs.
Again, I think the idea of the accent was a product of McDormand's academy award winning role in "Fargo." In this film, they may have made a little more of a caricature out of it. One of the Minnesotan characters, by the way, was played by one of my heroines, Frances Conroy (I'm a big "Six Feet Under" fan). But it was so well done, it had me laughing thoughout.
Then there's the scene when Ted and Lucy try to disguise their indiscretion so that Ted's daughter didn't know what happened, another side-buster. But the choreography necessary of Lucy while Ted and Lucy were hunting and nature called was worth the price of the ticket.
No, I won't give away any more than that, but it was hysterical.
Again, as others have already said and more will surely say, if you're after a soul-enhancing, humanitarian, or realistic story, this one might not be for you. That ain't the way life works except maybe in the movies. but if you'd like some hearty laughs--maybe a little to deliver you from what's going on in today's economy, this is a side breaker.