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The Do’s and Don’ts of Dating
The Making of Something New
“Kenya McQueen (Sanaa Lathan) thought she had it all: a successful career, good friends and family. There was just one thing she didn’t have under control: her love life. All that changes when she meets sexy, free-spirited Brian Kelly (Simon Baker). But when her ideal man (Blair Underwood) arrives on the scene, Kenya must decide between the relationship everyone expects and the romance no one expected.”
Something New is rated PG-13 for sexual references.
This is the first time I’ve remembered seeing Sanaa Lathan in a film since Alien vs. Predator. It was kind of amusing to see her go from battling aliens to being a girly girl that’s afraid of spiders. She shows she has a lot of range as an actress here. Unfortunately, her character is so uptight that it’s hard to see why Brain would be interested in her, especially after being rebuffed over race so many times. Simon Baker makes a handsome love interest as Brian Kelly while Blair Underwood ends up being little more than a pretty face as Mark. Alfre Woodard is fun to see in a smaller role as Joyce McQueen, Kenya’s mother. Scrubs’ Donald Faison also has an amusing role as Nelson McQueen, Kenya’s younger brother that has a different woman on his arm in every scene.
Something New does have a couple of problems. Besides depicting Kenya as an Ice Queen, the film bends over backwards to emphasize that Kenya and her family are from high society. It goes to ridiculous lengths to do this towards the end when they attend a black debutante ball. It would be hard enough to swallow with a bunch of white folks doing this outdated ritual, but it seems even weirder to see a bunch of black teens ballroom dancing. You just have to see the scenes to follow what I’m talking about. The whole scene didn’t fit the rest of the film and didn’t seem realistic. Overall, though, it’s an interesting romantic film that I think many audiences likely overlooked during its initial theatrical release.
The DVD is very light on bonus features. The film is introduced by Blair Underwood trying to act cool and doing little more than saying, “Here’s the film.” The featurette “The Do’s and Don’ts of Dating” shows the cast giving dating and relationship tips. I mean, we all know Hollywood stars are the best people to give advice on having solid relationships. Er .Moving on, the second featurette is “The Making of Something New” which is your standard ‘making of’ video. It features interviews with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage, and other such stuff.