Something New

Something New Image
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. 100
    First-time feature director Sanaa Hamri's virtually perfect romantic comedy is a marvelous mix of brains and heart that confronts serious questions about race and dating with sensitivity, humor and enormous sex appeal.
  2. 80
    Something New is the perfect date movie, not only because it explores a range of suitably romantic sentiments, but because it's so canny sociologically, as well as being delightfully good-natured.
  3. Kenya and Bryan are both victims of racism and also guilty of it. But the colorful mosaic of their courtship is no downer like "Crash," but rather an upbeat account of expanding social and romantic possibilities in a world where women wear the suits and men speak the language of flowers.
  4. Manages the neat feat of feeling sweetly inevitable rather than boilerplate predictable.
  5. 60
    The movie nicely captures the area around Baldwin Hills, is crisply written by Kriss Turner and portrays the upper-middle class black community seldom seen in mainstream TV and film. However, the characterizations, even the leads, rarely rise above archetypes.
  6. A shaky piece of work, with stumpy cinematography, choppy edits, speechy dialogue, and loose plotlines. And yet: There's an easygoing authenticity to the depiction of Kenya and her world that coexists with the picture's many weaknesses.
  7. 38
    This is an inept and unsubtle romantic fantasy about how black people and white people don't mix.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. Apr 19, 2011
    10
    Every time I see this movie I love it more. This is definitely a chick flick for black women who grew up middle to upper middle class. IEvery time I see this movie I love it more. This is definitely a chick flick for black women who grew up middle to upper middle class. I loved the chemistry between the characters, the humor of two very different people falling in love who just happen to be of different races and Socio economic backgrounds. From the moment they meet to getting to know each other and experiencing new things the movie makes you laugh and think. The family dynamic reminds me of my friends and I who have only seen a ghetto/hood on television or the movies and do have brothers older and younger just like in this movie. Also the doting father and socially concious mom yep very realistic from a suburban view. There was no old 70 's or 80 's prejudicial point of views in the movie, and thank goodness there was no crazy angry black woman "Sista" mannerisms that black women haters like to use to parody black women. I wish the director would make a follow-up to this movie just to see how they did or at least get funding to do more movies like this. People who might not like this movie will have comments about the plot being unrealistic and those people I have to wonder what background experience is driving that point of view. But if you take the racial factor out of the movie, it is a really sweet love story. Unfortunately, black women today are stuck with Tyler Perry who continues to denigrate us in the pictures he makes. H Expand
  2. F_C
    Dec 13, 2015
    10
    The movie was excellent. IMPORTANT: The review and "0" score by "joshC" should be removed - it blatantly plagIarizes the Boston Globe reviewThe movie was excellent. IMPORTANT: The review and "0" score by "joshC" should be removed - it blatantly plagIarizes the Boston Globe review by Wesley Morris and offers nothing new or original. Expand
  3. Laurn
    Feb 20, 2006
    9
    really enjoyed it. covered material (racial issues from the black perspective) excellently.
  4. DavidJ.
    Feb 4, 2006
    8
    I really liked this movie. This is the movie I wished Guess Who could have been. Being a white man in a relationship with a beautiful, I really liked this movie. This is the movie I wished Guess Who could have been. Being a white man in a relationship with a beautiful, intelligent, hard working black woman. This movie is what we have been waiting for for 17 year. My wife really loved the interaction with the girlfriends and early scenes with Brian. I really liked the father's statement to Kenya in the privey. This was reminscent of a talk my wife's dad had with me. Expand
  5. MarkB.
    Feb 14, 2006
    8
    Sadly, the worse-than-mediocre box office of this Would-Be 2006 Valentine's Day Must-See will reduce it to a Trivial Pursuit question a Sadly, the worse-than-mediocre box office of this Would-Be 2006 Valentine's Day Must-See will reduce it to a Trivial Pursuit question a few years from now: "What film starred and was directed by two different women named Sanaa?" That's a real shame, because Sanaa Hamri's account of Kenya (Sanaa Lathan, wonderful in Love and Basketball and about as credible an action heroine as Alien vs. Predator had any right to expect), an appealing but somwhat hidebound professional African-American woman seeking a relationship with an IBM--Ideal Black Man--but develops one with a hunky, laid-back landscape gardener (Simon Baker, resembling an amalgam of Paul Walker and Gilligan's Island's Russell Johnson) who's markedly deficient in one-third of the acronym, is abundantly sweet, smart and subtly subversive. If you had a few problems with the target choices of Cedric the Entertainer's take-no-prisoners, gleefully non-p.c. rants in Barbershop, be aware that this film's first 15 minutes feature a VERY frank conversation between four girlfriends in which nothing's sacred--not Jesse Jackson and certainly not the Muslim religion (a very risky thing to be joking about these days, even if you're NOT a Danish cartoonist!) While Hamri and screenwriter Kriss Turner certainly don't ignore the unfortunate reality that Black businesswomen have to work twice as hard to be considered as good at their jobs as their White counterparts (love that shot where Kenya is meeting with a White client who, even after she tells him that she's the one he'll be working with, disbelievingly looks out the door to see who else will be joining her), they also make gardener Brian the more sympathetic of the two. In fact, he's treated so condescendingly (if not downright rudely) by Kenya's somewhat pretentious mom (Alfre Woodard), hypocritical brother (Donald Faison), most of her friends (and enen, sometimes, Kenya herself!) that if White characters were treating a Black individual this way in another film, audiences of both races would be understandably and justifiably outraged. Not only do Turner and Hamri avoid all the obvious mistakes, evasions and copouts (Brian ISN'T too perfect to be true, a Black yuppie interested in Kenya who's set up as the Other Man isn't portrayed as a buffoon, and even Kenya's mother and brother are allowed to have moments of compassion and wisdom), but Hamri's direction is extraordinarily graceful. She's wonderful at handling the reactions of disinterested background figures and extras, and includes an incredibly lovely, profound and poignant sequence the morning after Kenya's and Brian's first night together; both are bathed in a yellowish light that makes their skin tones seem absolutely identical. Entertainment Weekly's film critic Owen Gleiberman has been widely quoted in ads for Brokeback Mountain as saying that Ang Lee's multiple-Oscar-nominated gem has the power to change hearts. So, too, in its own quiet, under-the-radar way, does Something New. Expand
  6. LynnW.
    Feb 11, 2006
    8
    Great lead actors. A formula movie in many ways, but with a realness and naturalness to the characters that's often missing from Great lead actors. A formula movie in many ways, but with a realness and naturalness to the characters that's often missing from romantic comedies. Expand
  7. JoshC.
    Jan 21, 2007
    0
    The success of Paul Haggis's "Crash" proved that the only way for an American movie to deal with the problem of race is to drop it on an The success of Paul Haggis's "Crash" proved that the only way for an American movie to deal with the problem of race is to drop it on an audience's head like an anvil. "Something New" is a similarly blunt object. There's a profound way for the races to talk to each other (or not to), but Hollywood doesn't seem to have figured it out. Instead, Kenya seems forced into racializing her frustrations at work, and Brian is made to appear insensitive for not wanting to hear her vent. This is a useful way to kick off a town-hall meeting. It's a terrible start for a love affair. Sanaa Hamri directed this movie (it's her first feature) and Kriss Turner wrote the screenplay, and neither will drum any logic into Kenya. Would a woman this professional and this together, raised by academics and educated at predominantly white institutions, blanch at the idea of dating a man of another race? Especially one this handsome, independent, and polite? There might be several plausible reasons for her not to date Brian, but the movie doesn't allow her to articulate them. The problem isn't just Kenya's. Her brother (Donald Faison) calls Brian "the help" and won't even shake his hand. Her mother (Alfre Woodard) is even haughtier. (The McQueens aren't the Huxtables; they're the Carringtons.) Were Brian black and Kenya named, I don't know, Paris, and if her family and friends were as rude to him, we'd be expected to find their behavior appalling. The movie's perceptions of black and white are so petty that race begins to seem like the stupidest hang-up in the world. Kenya is as chronically dissatisfied as a lot of ambitious people, which makes her dilemma rich with social comedy. But "Something New" takes forever to turn progressive. The audience is smarter than the movie right up to the end, when someone finally clears up the apparent mystery. "The boy is white," says Kenya's dad. "He's not a Martian." Great, now he tells us. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews

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