The Black Kino Fist: Black life as depicted in film history

Something New (2006)

"Something New opens with cotton-candy titles, arrives in time for Valentine's Day, and is billed as a romantic comedy. OK, it is a romantic comedy, technically, but the romance and the comedy don't arrive easily, and along the way the movie truly is something new: A touching story about a black professional woman facing problems in the workplace and the marriage market. I found myself unexpectedly moved.
So let's pause and deal with some things you're probably assuming. You probably think "Something New," like the remake "Guess Who," approaches interracial romance as a sitcom opportunity. You probably think the cards are stacked in favor of these two people falling in love. But it isn't that simple. The movie is, astonishingly, told from a point of view hardly ever visible in movies: African-American professionals. 
How the movie finally ends will not be difficult to guess. It's how it gets there that's compelling. "Something New" doesn't settle for formulas or easy answers. Like its heroine, it knows good reasons for dating within one's race. It knows about social pressure, and how it works both ways. It's able to observe Kenya and Brian in a mostly black social situation, where Brian calls her, correctly, on making "black" comments as a way of holding her white date at arm's length. Interesting, how it gives a fair hearing to both characters.
By the end, "Something New" delivers all the usual pleasures of a love story, and something more. The movie respects its subject and characters, and is more complex about race than we could possibly expect. With this film and the completely different but also observant Queen Latifah comedy "Last Holiday," black women are being paid a kind of attention they deserve but rarely get in the movies. Yes, and it's fun, too: You'll laugh and maybe you'll have a few tears, that kind of stuff."
-Roger Ebert
Status: Available for purchase
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