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Something New
DVD disk
05.25.2006 By: Scott Weinberg
Something New order
Director:
Sanaa Hamri

Actors:
Sanaa Lathan
Simon Baker
Blair Underwood

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An obnoxiously uptight professional woman (who is black) falls for a perfectly adorable landscaper (who is white). Guess what happens next.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
It's kind of ironic that this flick comes baring the title SOMETHING NEW ... since it doesn't have a new or unique or original bone in its body. You know precisely where the movie is going from frame one, and the thing sticks to completely predictable presentation without ever missing a cliche, a stereotype, or a rather unpleasant vibe of outright racism.

As ultra-successful accountant Kenya McQueen, the normally lovely Sanaa Lathan is asked to play a nasty and ridiculously uptight woman, one who simply needs a little "you know what" to put a smile on her face. Enter the impossibly perfect Brian Kelly, a guy who has everything that Kenya wants ... only, whoops, he's Caucasian, which means that Kenya's friends and family will never ever go for it.

WILL Kenya be able to defeat the socially-accepted forms of outright racism and embrace her hunky landscaper? Well, if you need that question answered for you, go right ahead and give SOMETHING NEW a rental. It's a romantic comedy with next to to laughs ... and even less in the romance department.

Once you realize that the filmmakers are interested in nothing more than climbing aboard a well-travelled soapbox, fully prepared to present every modern racial issue in only the most cartoonish and unrealistic fashion ... you'll fall asleep. Not even the normally hilarious Donald Faison (SCRUBS) can breathe any life into this simplistic husk of a movie, mainly because he's asked to play a character so hatefully dismissive of "whitey" ... you simply won't be able to stand the guy.

And don't even get me started on the grotesque caricature that Alfre Woodard is asked to portray. As Kenya's mother, Woodard delivers an outlandishly grating performance, although much of the blame should be lain at the feet of the screenwriter. I haven't seen a character this one-note hateful since Archie Bunker went off the air.

Just once I'd like to see an "urban-themed" flick that doesn't pander so shamelessly to its intended audience.

THE EXTRAS
The Do's and Don'ts of Dating is a 5-minute puff-piece in which cast & crew members dole out a banal bunch of advice.

There's also a puddle-deep Making Of featurette that runs about 11 minutes and tells you practically nothing about how the movie was made. Plus there's a 30-second movie introduction from actor Blair Underwood, which exists only to make the movie about 30 seconds longer.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I understand and respect that some movies are MADE for a specific demographic, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. But this one's as limp, lame, and lethargic as rom-coms come, and anyone who finds something new in SOMETHING NEW is obviously looking a whole lot closer than the movie deserves.
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