Something New

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

Cast: Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker, Mike Epps, Blair Underwood, Wendy Raquel Robinson. Focus Features. Romantic Comedy. Written by Kriss Turner. Directed by Sanaa Hamri.

Kenya (Sanaa Lathan), a successful African-America woman, is on the verge of making partner in her company. Her romantic life, however, is not as winning. After much nagging from her friends, uptight Kenya agrees to a blind date with laidback Brian (Simon Baker), a free-spirited landscape architect. Theres just one small problem with Brian. Hes Caucasian. The handsome gardener picture a young Robert Redford doesnt think race should keep them apart and he pursues the romance, while Kenya and her snobbish family are stunned. Soon, however, Kenya warms to loves flame. But there are adjustments to be made, and to complicate matters, an IBM (Ideal Black Man) played by Blair Underwood think young Billy Dee Williams enters the picture.

In film, its easier to deal with prejudice from a black perspective, and writer Kriss Turner and director Sannaa Hamri use the race card to full advantage. They bravely address race issues, revealing a submerged hostility that still resides between blacks and whites. At the same time, their statement is one addressed decades ago in Guess Whos Coming to Dinner: love is difficult enough to find in this world why should pigmentation be the eliminating factor?

Something New is an entertaining look at race relations, wrapped within a mildly amusing script. Alas, many will be put off by some crude sexual comments and the free sexual lifestyle. To the characters in this film, race is to be considered before going to bed together, but evidently marriage is not. And although the film goes easy on the objectionable language, we have the inevitable lovers quarrel, which crescendos with Christs name uttered in frustration, then topped by the angry profaning of His Fathers.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Focus Features

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: there are a few crude sexual comments made by a group of women friends

Obscene Language: the s-word has replaced milder forms of verbal releases of frustration in movies and it pops up here on several occasions by the female lead.

Profanity: 2 misuses of Christs name and one use of Gods name followed by a curse. These profanities are spoken by the leads.

Violence: None

Sex: there are a couple of instances where the leads, shall we say, enjoin.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: there is some sexual repartee between the female lead and her girlfriends.

Drugs: some social drinking.

Other: the film deals frankly with prejudice, but gives a positive message about love by films end.

Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.