"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. Sanaa Lathan stars as Kenya, a Los Angeles accountant who is a workaholic.
I was very open with everyone at the beginning saying, Okay, I dont want to offend anyone. If I step on someones toes, if I say the wrong thing, just school me and say, You didnt really mean to say that. But other than that its cool. And going into it, Im like [feeling] heavy female energy on the set.
I dont want to say the wrong thing about anything. The producers, the director, the writer - all women, so theres very strong, and the 42.4 % thing, the statistic is staggering [42.4% is reportedly the percentage of black women who have never been married].
But people would come to visit me at the set and theyd be like, My god, man, whats going on? Theres African American characters on a few TV shows and stuff, but that was it.
Funnily enough as well, what I had to do was get really tan, which is hilarious, and it was for a completely technical reason. They sent me to the tanning booth and then we did another camera test - and I was still too white.
She's pretty, but the movie doesn't rest on that; Lathan makes Kenya wary, protective, cautious.
It's a performance that could have skated the surface but goes more deeply.
She does hire Brian to landscape her backyard, and gradually finds herself drawn to him, against her will.
The movie depends on a sudden rain shower, that old Victorian standby, to drive them into the shelter of a tree for an unexpected kiss.