What You Need To Know:
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.
(BB, C, Ro, Pa, LL, SS, N, A, M) Strong moral worldview and premise (but not overtly religious) about judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin and that includes a positive, redemptive scene between a father and daughter concerning the topic of marriage, marred by Romantic follow-your-heart dialogue and some immoral pagan sexuality; 10 obscenities, one strong profanity and three light profanities; no violence; depicted bedroom scene that implies fornication with man kissing the stomach of a woman in underwear, passionate kissing when man lifts woman on top of desk, man and woman shown stripping to their underwear, and some sexual discussion, including angry woman denounces girlfriend for sleeping with married men; no overt salacious nudity but woman and man in underwear includes upper male nudity; alcohol use; no smoking; and, some miscellaneous immorality such as racial conflicts, woman angrily makes a scene at a traditional African American cotillion, secular wedding scenes involving female protagonist that have no religious aspect to them (though protagonist goes to a Jewish wedding involving one of her co-workers), and woman embarrasses her parents but reconciliation follows after woman has a heart-to-heart talk with her father about marriage.
SOMETHING NEW is enjoyably something different in romantic comedies. It has a positive worldview overall and an uplifting resolution to its major plot conflict, but some immoral pagan sexual content and foul language mitigate these positive elements. The movie is elegantly directed, acted and written, however.
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.