The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Something New

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Judy Thorburn

Something New

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

“SOMETHING NEW” – INTERRACIAL ROMANCE WITHIN A PREDICTABLE FORMULA

Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl have a fight and break up, but eventually the couple is reunited and live happily after.  That’s nothing new.  We’ve seen that scenario hundreds of times. Even interracial romances have become common on screen. What we have with Something New is a comedy/drama that attempts to address the issues and challenges facing an interracial couple and do it in a smart way that has cross over appeal.  If the story wasn’t so predictable, preachy and loaded with clichés I might have liked it better. One cannot deny that the leads, Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker (TV’s The Guardian) are two beautiful specimens of the human race, easy on the eyes.  I had no trouble believing they would be attracted to each other. The script by Kriss Turner on the other hand and direction by Sanaa Hamri has its problems.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Something New, Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker, Mike Epps, Golden Brooks, Donald Faison, Taraji P. Henson, Felicia Walker, John Ratzenberger, Blair Underwood, Katherine Towne, Alfriw Woodard, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Matt Malloy

Kenya McQueen (Lathan) is certainly no sista from the hood. Born into an upper crust black family, the hardworking beauty seems to have it all, a new house, a bevy of girlfriends and great job as senior manager at a top accounting firm in L.A. where she is up for a position as partner. The only thing missing in her life is a man; particularly an I.B.M., that is an “ideal black man”, that fits her list of picky requirements. Kenya’s equally beautiful, but much more sassy girlfriends are eager to talk about the nature of being a single black woman during a dinner scene in a restaurant (the camera continually circles around the girls that it became dizzying) where they let Kenya know that if she wants to get married she needs to be more open, let go and let it flow.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Something New, Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker, Mike Epps, Golden Brooks, Donald Faison, Taraji P. Henson, Felicia Walker, John Ratzenberger, Blair Underwood, Katherine Towne, Alfriw Woodard, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Matt Malloy

Kenya, ever the control freak, promises her galpals that she would try to be more flexible. So, she agrees to go on a blind date at Starbucks set up by her Jewish friend and co-worker Leah. The guy turns out to be a hunky, handsome landscape architect named Brian. The problem, and it’s a big one for her, is Brian is white. As far as she’s concerned he is not an option, regardless of the fact that he is really nice, down to earth, loves the outdoors and his pet golden retriever, and could even be the “one”. But, Kenya is so uncomfortable even being seen with Brian that she’s anxious to end the date, although as far as he’s concerned race is not an issue and is instantly smitten. Needless to say, they meet again at Leah’s engagement party where he offers to work on the backyard of Kenya’s house that desperately needs work. She’s obviously very attracted to the laid back guy (who wouldn’t!) but she is so caught up in her own ideas about race relations, and outside pressures that she is forced to confront those issues and follow her heart. To complicate matters, Kenya’s meddling, womanizing brother Nelson (Donald Faison, if TV’s Scrubs) introduces Kenya to his former law school mentor Mark (Blair Underwood), who appears to fit her I.B.M. requirements to a T. It’s not like you don’t see him coming OR where they are headed. And, of course her parents would also love to see their daughter with someone of the same race. But, is there a doubt as to who know eventually comes through with the needing words of wisdom?

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Something New, Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker, Mike Epps, Golden Brooks, Donald Faison, Taraji P. Henson, Felicia Walker, John Ratzenberger, Blair Underwood, Katherine Towne, Alfriw Woodard, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Matt Malloy

Lathan shows that she is a talented actress by delivering emotional range in her character that is appealing, and there is a sizzling, make that “hot” chemistry between her and the gorgeous Aussie actor who says more with his body language and eye contact than his slim dialogue. The supporting cast are all good, including Alfre Woodard as Kenya’s prissy mother. But, the mention of “black tax”, and the plantation is said too many times especially since they didn’t seem to be to be prevalent in Kenya’s life, except in her mind.  Another problem are scenes that must have been left on the cutting room floor or ones that ask a question not resolved.  For instance, Brian tells Kenya he is taking her to check out an example of his landscaping work so that she would hire him, but they wind up at a Community Plant Nursery.  I am also guessing that John Ratzenberger (TV’s Cheers) who appears in a silent cameo at the end must be Brian’s Dad, but that’s just a guess based on the one scene he is in.

The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil, Something New, Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker, Mike Epps, Golden Brooks, Donald Faison, Taraji P. Henson, Felicia Walker, John Ratzenberger, Blair Underwood, Katherine Towne, Alfriw Woodard, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Matt Malloy

Underneath all the racial jokes and preaching and heavy-handed speeches about race relations is a nice little love story with two good actors that are charming and charismatic. As a whole I found the film mildly enjoyable and that is due to the stars. I think the message about trusting your feelings and not prejudging is a good one.  Is it Something New? Title aside, as a formulaic and predictable story, I would have to say no.