Like a sort of Guess Who’s Waiting To Exhale, Something New tries to fuse romantic comedy, racial drama and female empowerment. Affluent lawyer Kenya (Sanaa Latham) is looking for her IBM (Ideal Black Man, natch) to fit into her ordered lifestyle filled with work and beige furnishings. So she’s as surprised as her sassy quartet of friends when she falls for scruffy – and, yes, white – landscaper Brian (Simon Baker).
Written, directed and produced by African-American women, this LA-based lovey-dovey pits a slushy Cinderella fantasy against pertinent questions about identity; Brian and Kenya may have typically icky rom-com chats but they also have interesting spats about hairweaves, “black tax” and racism. The result is a patchy but refreshing chick flick that only skims the surface of interracial romantic pitfalls, but remains smarter than your average date movie.