In Something New, first-time director Sanaa Hamri makes an admirable effort to increase discourse on the perpetually controversial topic of race. The film centers on Kenya (Sanaa Lathan), an African American, and her search for love. Kenya is a successful accountant who scarcely has time to cook dinner, let alone look for a man. Her friends and brother (Donald Faison, Scrubs) are determined to find her an IBM (the ideal black man, not the blue chip stock).

Fate, on the other hand, has different plans for Kenya as she encounters Brian (Simon Baker from The Guardian), a landscape architect (aka bona fide gardener) who happens to be white. Although Something New provides us with the typical mush that accompanies nearly every romantic comedy, Hamri successfully addresses the challenges of interracial dating with comedy.

However, the one major aspect that is missing from the film is depth. At times, there was a clear sense that the comedy wanted to take on more serious issues, however the film never became quite probing enough to accomplish these goals. These minor quibbles aside, Something New offers an insightful look into a controversial, yet increasingly prevalent social issue, and for that alone, the film merits attention.


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