On the face of it Something New, by first-time director Sanaa Hamri, offers a fresh twist on the tale of love across racial boundaries. Sanaa Lathan stars as a high-flying professional black woman with very specific ideas about what Mr Right should look like. Cue the free-spirited white guy (Simon Baker), who challenges her perceptions. However, the sad irony is that their relationship is as colourless as boiled cabbage, and the dialogue is just as whiffy.
Brian burrows his way into Kenya's seemingly cold heart by digging up her garden and issuing naff chat-up lines like, "I'm just a gardener. I take hard earth and make things bloom..." In fact Kriss Turner's script is barren ground for all the male characters. She makes a fuss about the weak marriage prospects of career-minded black women, yet it seems more likely that Kenya is single because the only men she meets have even less personality than she does.
"STYMIED BY A LACK OF IMAGINATION"
Tension dissipates from the moment Blair Underwood's name appears on the opening credits - making it easy to see how Kenya's dilemma will play out. It's a romance plot stymied by a lack of imagination (confirmed by the clichéd 'kiss in the rain' scene), and the leading couple don't have the chemistry to make up for it. There are a couple of bright spots - like Brian questioning whether Kenya's hair is real or a weave - but generally the story swings wildly from preachy to just plain silly. It is truly a story of missed opportunities.