Kenya McQueen (Sanaa Lathan) thought she had it all: a successful career, good friends and family. There was just one thing she didn't have under control: her love life. All that changes when she meets sexy, free-spirited Brian Kelly (Simon Baker). But when her ideal man (Blair Underwood) arrives on the scene, Kenya must decide between the relationship everyone expects and the romance no one expected.
The tricky topic of interracial romance gets a sexy, charming, and unexpectedly realistic treatment in Something New. Kenya (Sanaa Lathan, Out of Time, Alien Vs. Predator), a successful accountant, gets set up on a blind date with Brian (Simon Baker, The Ring Two)--only to discover that he's white, leading her to cut the date short. At a party, Kenya admires the garden and gets introduced to the landscape architect: Brian. Thus begins a bumpy but increasingly sparky relationship, despite opposition from Kenya's friends and family, as well as Kenya and Brian's own internal resistance. Make no mistake, Something New is a mainstream romantic comedy, with ridiculously attractive people grappling with problems that get solved with just a little too much ease--but along the way, Kriss Turner's script, Sanaa Hamri's direction, and Baker's and especially Lathan's performances ground the movie in something resembling the real world. Kenya's and Brian's emotional terrain has a genuine texture to it; the rhythm of the dialogue and the visual pacing allows their characters to breathe and become more genuine and vivid than your standard rom-com lovers. The strong supporting cast--including Alfre Woodard (Crooklyn), Donald Faison (Scrubs), Mike Epps (Next Friday), and Blair Underwood (Full Frontal)--doesn't hurt. But Lathan owns the movie; this actress deserves true stardom. --Bret Fetzer
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