Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker,
Donald Faison, Alfre Woodard,
Blair Underwood, Mike Epps,
and Golden Brooks
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 96 minutes
Distributor: Focus Features/NBC Universal
Director: Sanaa Hamri
Executive Producer: Preston Holmes and Joe
Producer: Stephanie Allain
Writer: Kriss Turner
Address Comments To:David Linde and James Schamus
Focus Features/Rogue Pictures
A Division of Universal Pictures
65 Bleecker St., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 539-4000
Fax: (212) 539-4099
The basic story focuses on a professional female accountant in Los Angeles named Kenya Brown, a smart and beautiful, but uptight and unmarried, African American woman. Kenya's girlfriends encourage her to loosen up, to "let go and let flow." So, she agrees to a blind date with a man named Brian, set up by her white Jewish co-worker. Brian turns out to be white too, and Kenya rudely rejects him.
Later, Kenya learns that Brian is the landscape architect for one of her clients. She hires Brian to improve her new, but lapidated, back yard. Brian soon overcomes Kenya's defenses. When, however, her womanizing brother sets her up with a successful, handsome, black lawyer named Mark, Kenya is torn between true love and her IBM, or Ideal Black Man.
Kenya's demanding and socially conscious mother gets in the way of her true feelings, but a very nice, uplifting scene between her and her loving father helps her make up her mind in the right direction. Although there's a Romantic, follow-your-heart aspect to the movie's story and characters, Kenya's search for an ideal mate can be seen in the context of God's pronouncement in the Bible that a man and woman may leave their parents and unite as one flesh. The uplifting scene between Kenya and her father also help to give SOMETHING NEW a strong moral worldview, as does the movie's message that we should judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin or their station in life.
The cast does a fun job with this elegant story. Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker as Kenya and Brian truly have some on-screen chemistry that makes Kenya and Brian seem made for each other, despite their personal conflicts. The direction by Sanaa Hamri is also elegant.
SOMETHING NEW is not perfect, however. Its moral worldview is marred by foul language, passionate kissing and a depicted bedroom scene with implied fornication. Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution. If the filmmakers had cut the sex scenes and foul language, and added some positive Christian content, SOMETHING NEW could be a MOVIEGUIDE® award winner, and probably make even more money at the box office. Alas, it was not meant to be.
The cast does a fun job with this elegantly directed, entertaining story. Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker as Kenya and Brian truly have on-screen chemistry. Also, the movie has a strong moral worldview about judging people by the content of their character rather than their skin color. This positive worldview is marred, however, by foul language and sexual content, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.