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maryann johanson | watching movies at home

Something New (review)

Surely there will come a time when smart, talented, accomplished American women will tire of being told the reason they are unable to snag a man and wrangle a ring out of him is because of that enormous stick up their butts? Cuz, as one of those poor, benighted, unbeknighted gals, I can assure you that there’s no Simon Baker (George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead) standing around waiting for me to just loosen up and notice him. Baker’s landscape architect is impossibly perfect: he’s got hunky pecs to flex while working in the yard, he owns a great dog — damn, the man even cooks. Sanaa Lathan’s (Alien vs. Predator) yuppie financial guru, on the other hand, is rude and haughty when she isn’t being downright childish (“Eek, my hair!” she screams when she gets caught in the rain), and her chief objection to this ridiculously ideal man is that he’s white, and she isn’t. I suppose we could consider this a mark of progress, that romantic comedies that rely on absurd extremes and stereotypes (like poor Alfre Woodard [Beauty Shop] as Lathan’s impossible mother — so that’s where that stick came from!) now cross racial lines. But that’s keeping the bar for all of us of any color way too low.

MPAA: rated PG-13 for sexual references

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