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Tuesday, March 18, 2008:
"Something New" (2006) - movie review

If love is an adventure, it's one yet to be embarked upon by Kenya Denise McQueen. A beautiful L.A. career woman, Kenya works as senior manager at a prestigious accounting firm, and is on the verge of making partner. But she has yet to find her own partner and a fulfilling personal life. It's not that she's stopped looking; her (mental) checklist is at the ready. After another Valentine's Day spent working late, Kenya agrees to a blind date with Brian Kelly, a sexy and free-spirited landscape architect who turns out to be not exactly what she'd pictured for herself. Then again, she does need the yard of her new house fixed up. Her girlfriends Cheryl, Suzzette, and Nedra are there for her with advice, while Cheryl's new beau Walter shares a male perspective with Brian. Kenya's socially prominent parents Joyce and Edmond and womanizing younger brother Nelsen also voice their own opinions. But it's when her perfect match, Mark, enters the picture that Kenya is truly thrown into confusion. Ultimately, Kenya has to decide for herself and follow her heart--no matter where it takes her.

Kenya has a pretty damn good life: she's a gorgeous woman with a successful career, she has a wonderful family and great friends, she attends the most prominent parties, yet there's something missing. Kenya wants love in her life, and she knows exactly what she's looking for, she just hasn't found it yet. Armed with her mental list, she nevertheless agrees to a blind date with Brian, never expecting he'd be a white landscape architect. Immediately the shutters go down and her defenses go up - this guy doesn't stand a chance.

But right from the start, Brian is attracted to her, and maybe even a little amused by her rigid demeanor, and being the laid-back yet confident guy he is, he quietly perseverves by being non-threatening, and eventually a little pushy when he insists she spend the day with him, and Kenya is helpless against the strong, mutual attraction, though she tries to fight it by running. Brian doesn't let her though, and though she's stubborn, she gives in, because she wants to be with him too, despite what her family and friends are telling her.

Brian and Kenya don't shy away from their racial differences, and at times it can be uncomfortable, but refreshingly honest. Brian doesn't always understand Kenya's frustation about how she's treated at work, and Kenya thinks Brian isn't up to her caliber as far as money and status are concerned, and doesn't fit in with her high society lifestyle. Despite their growing feelings, maybe that just isn't enough to keep them together....

Blond, blue-eyed Brian (Simon Baker) is the epitome of a blue-collar surfer dude with an open heart, and elegant and exotic Kenya (Sanaa Lathan) is like a royal princess, but a rather unhappy one. They might not seem like they fit, but at the end of the day, the layers come off and it's just Brian and Kenya, two people falling in love. But in the back of Kenya's mind is the thought that she can do better, and when a successful black man named Mark (Blair Underwood) comes into her life, she thinks she's finally found what she's looking for.

I really enjoyed this movie. Brian and Kenya are both gorgeous people; hell, the whole cast is just good-looking, and it's sweet and poignant and twisted up in expectations and goals and all those other things that make people crazy. I thought Simon Baker and Sanaa Lathan looked beautiful together, and share a lovely chemistry, though the whole movie felt right with each character, from Kenya's parents and brother to her girlfriends and co-workers. Blair Underwood comes into the picture and he's not a bad guy, and it would be very easy to see his character, Mark, making a good life with Kenya. She just has to choose the right path for her, and it really could go either way. I definitely think she made the right choice, because she radiated with happiness. And that is what makes this movie a charming love story. I watched it several times before returning it, that's how much I liked it. Gave me the warm fuzzies.

Rating: ****1/2 out of *****

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  1. As someone in an interracial romance myself, I was tickled to come across this movie. I really enjoyed it, overall. It touched on some of the complicated issues but didn't really get beneath the surface (which was ok with me as it's billed as a romantic comedy). I liked seeing Simon and Kenya fall in lurve. And I loved every minute that Blair Underwood was onscreen because that man really does something for me. le sigh. too bad his character was an ass.


  2. I really liked this one too. I watch it whenever it's on !:)

  3. Oh! I love movie reviews because it reminds me of movies I'd wanted to see. So now I can put this in my Netflix queue. And can I just say Simon Baker and Blair Underwood make it watch worthy alone!

  4. I'm in an inerracial relationship as well. I really enjoyed this movie. I thought it was great.

  5. It's cool most of you guys have already seen it. And I totally agree about Simon Baker and Blair Underwood - I've had a crush on him since LA Law.

  6. Glad you liked this one! I enjoyed it too. All those yummy people. :P

  7. Add me to the group who loved this movie. So much so that I had to get my own copy of it.

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