Although Brian is helping her feel more comfortable about her living environment, Kenya finds it difficult to dismiss her reservations about their romance. The movie respects its subject and characters, and is more complex about race than we could possibly expect.
Urged to loosen up by her friends, Kenya accepts a blind date with landscape architect Brian Kelly (Simon Baker) arranged by her co-worker Leah Cahan (Katharine Towne), who is in the process of planning the kind of wedding Kenya wants herself.
The two meet at Starbucks, and she is surprised to discover Brian is white. The two unexpectedly meet again at a party at Leah's parents' home, where Brian landscaped the grounds.
Impressed with his work, Kenya decides to hire him to renovate her unkempt backyard garden. don't just look good together; they feel right in sync.
As time passes, their employer-employee relationship evolves into a friendship and then love. Their easy, sensual rapport partly owes something to the generally sure hand of the film's director, Sanaa Hamri, making a fine feature debut, and something else, something indefinable, to the delectable mysteries of two bodies in cinematic motion." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times rated the film 3½ out of four stars and commented, "I found myself unexpectedly moved." He continued, "By the end, Something New delivers all the usual pleasures of a love story, and something more.
The two begin to date, and while Joyce thoroughly approves, Edmond senses his daughter is not as happy as she was with Brian. Petersburg Times graded the film B and commented, "I like the way Something New presents facets of African-American life seldom seen in mainstream movies, such as the formality and brief funkiness of a debutante cotillion ball, the affluent sophistication making such events important.
Everything Kenya thought she wanted suddenly seems immaterial, and nothing Mark does ignites a spark between them. I like Hamri's approach to material that might be offensive from a solidly black or white perspective.
When the dissonance she’s developed finally overwhelms her, Kenya chooses to reunite with Brian, no longer allowing her controlling nature and social norms to dictate matters of the heart. It all makes the foundational sameness of the story easier to take. Perhaps the best thing the movie has going for it, actually, is that despite the title, there's really nothing new here at all; rather, the beats are so familiar the audience can fill in the gaps themselves." On May 16, 2006, the film was released on DVD in Region 1 in two versions, one in anamorphic widescreen and the other in fullscreen format.
Something New is a 2006 American romantic drama film directed by Sanaa Hamri.
The screenplay by Kriss Turner focuses on interracial relationships and traditional African American family values and social customs.