Something New

Rated 2.0

A smart African-American career woman (Sanaa Lathan) bemoans the shortage of suitable men and then unexpectedly falls for the white guy (Simon Baker) who’s remodeling her backyard. This “new romantic comedy” fails on all three counts: It’s not all that funny, it’s not very romantic, and it’s certainly nothing new. Writer Kriss Turner comes to this project after only a handful of TV sitcoms (Living Single, Whoopi, etc.), and a sitcom is exactly what the movie feels like; all the jokes fall flat without a well-prompted studio audience whooping and shouting, “Tell ’em, girl!” Director Sanaa Hamri does her best, but the casting undercuts the follow-your-heart theme; Baker seems more in love with himself than with Lathan, while the man Lathan rejects (Blair Underwood) seems like a perfect match.