There is nothing especially wrong with the new interracial romantic comedy-drama “Something New,” but there is nothing especially right about it either.Sanaa Lathan stars as Kenya, a workaholic black woman who has neither the time for romance nor the inclination to settle for someone who doesn’t meet up to her exacting standards. One of her friends–part of a group of people who seem to have nothing better to do than to see her with a man–sets her up on a blind date with–gasp!–Brian (Simon Baker), a white landscaper who doesn’t fit any of her personal criteria. Nevertheless, they eventually begin to connect and before long, he is making her garden bloom (you know what I mean), much to the consternation of her womanizing brother (Donald Faison) and her social-climbing mother (Alfree Woodard in a rare weak performance). For no other reason than the fact that the screenplay requires it, Kenya lets the racial difference come between them and when she meets an eligible man (Blair Underwood) who meets all of her requirements, she is forced to make a difficult decision that will come as a shock to virtually no one in the audience.
The film gives us a look into the world of upscale black society (complete with cotillions) that isn’t often seen in films today and the two leads are bright and charming and have a definite on-screen chemistry. That’s what makes the lockstep nature of the screenplay so frustrating–the ups and downs of their relationship always feel like the machinations of the screenplay than how these characters might really behave in the real world (there is an especially unconvincing argument in a grocery store that almost feels like a patchy first draft that screenwriter Kriss Turner never quite got around to fixing) .For those who are in a mood for a romantic film and are not that discriminating (in more ways than one), you could do worse than “Something New” but considering the inherent likability of its two stars, it would have been nice if the makers could have done a little better.