Something old and “Something New”

Today was the slowest day EVER. Really. Time did not move during the work day. It melted a little toward the end, but let me give you a recap of my day: I finished “The Crimson Petal and The White” in the afternoon, because things were so slow that 250 pages was completely doable, with time leftover to update my Web site, play with Library Thing, fetch Baked Cheetos from the Union, hire a new guy, and make and cut memos for the 75 apartments in Tower A. I also have a good start on “Valley of the Dolls” now, which was left for me by one of my desk workers.

I came home, got all changed, drove to the gym, realized I was still sore and tired from yesterday on top of being cranky, and then drove home and took a nap. Woke up and went to see theater movie #7 of the year, “Something New.” It was enjoyable. Not the average romantic comedy (though it did have many of the usual suspect pieces). Here’s something really interesting: what makes the movie stand out from the usual rom-com fare is that the main couple is Kenya, a successful, straight-laced, career-oriented African-American woman, and Brian, a laid-back white landscaper. The movie is told, essentially, from Kenya’s point of view, showing how the idea of up-tight, upper-class Kenya dating Brian causes a stir, both in her own view of herself — she’s married to her work, she has a list of what she thinks she wants, and it doesn’t include a white man — and in her circle of family and friends. The movie makes this its main issue (thank you, by the way, for NOT making the issue one of job v. man), and it does it very well, makes the fights and discussions blend in so it never feels, really, like anyone’s giving a speech or standing up for Every Black Woman or Every White Man. But here, look at the summary “provided by Focus Features” that’s on the IMDB page: absolutely no mention of the biracial component of the romance. Everything that makes this movie interesting is left out! Bleh.

A point I love about this movie, as mentioned above, is that it’s not the new standard Rom-Com breed of Job v. Man plot. Here, Kenya is clearly the lead character, and she’s very good at what she does, she’s bright and articulate and successful, and she manages to fall in love without ever a) crying in her office or b). running out of a meeting, thus symbolizing her love of Her Man over Her Job. Bravo. The people who suggest she needs to take time out of work to find a man are the characters who seem the most ridiculous (the brother, the over-concerned co-worker). When Brian mentions she needs to relax, it’s a general statement, not a “be home for me” kind of statement. I liked that. I wish more movies could strike this balance.

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26 Responses to Something old and “Something New”

  1. phillyexpat says:

    I think Simon Baker is gorgeous and I love Sanaa Lathan. This is so going in my Netflix queue.

  2. next_bold_move says:

    That was my thought, too. But my Netflix queue is only 60% or so of yours!

    I dropped your recommendation in my queue as well, since there’s a chance it won’t come anywhere near us.

  3. next_bold_move says:

    Hey, you’re Library Thing link is broken. 🙂

    I’m glad you liked the movie–I wish I had gotten your e-mail in time…

  4. ellenneithernor says:

    Curse you for linking to LibraryThing! I am now completely obsessed with my catalog (mostly of books I’ve half finished or checked out expecting to read them… someday). Of course, it’s kind of misleading when you have library books that don’t have the fancy covers, but still! So aesthetically pleasing!

  5. kepkanation says:

    It’s eaten up large stacks of my day, too, just listing books I want to read and then looking to see who else has read them, what they’re tagged, etc. I loooove the graphical shelf too!

  6. kepkanation says:

    Siiiiiimon Baker. He’s just wonderful in this movie. Definitely worth the rental.

  7. kepkanation says:

    Link fixed: bah! I should’ve called earlier in the evening about the movie, and actually intended to, but… nap happens.

    Random question, but… is the cat in your icon spewing fire?

  8. next_bold_move says:

    I think that kitty is chewing up something, like a pillow.

  9. phillyexpat says:

    Cool. It’s a great movie. Did you see City of God? Similar themes, filmmaking approach, etc.

  10. next_bold_move says:

    It tooks terrific. I’m pretty sure that City of God is in my queue, too.

    I’ve got Proof and Like Water for Chocolate here at the house now, but I can only watch the second one, since Greg’s not here. Should be a good weekend. 🙂

  11. kepkanation says:

    Ahh, that’s much better, then.

  12. phillyexpat says:

    And now it’s eating up mine . . . I love it.

  13. kepkanation says:

    Tsotsi? I added it, too! Maybe we can watch together sometime.

    The New York Times has a good piece on the five foreign film nominees this morning that is very complimentary of Tsotsi and has really made me want to see the Italian entry.

  14. kepkanation says:

    I owe credit to on that one — she told me of the site, and then I became absolutely hooked. It’s like having a Netflix queue of books to read.

  15. phillyexpat says:

    I love that NY Times article. One of my co-workers pointed me towards it this morning.

  16. phillyexpat says:

    Amen to that! What’s your list so I can add you to my “watchlist”?

  17. kepkanation says:

    I = kepkanation over there, and have added you to my watchlist. I was only using it for books “to be read,” but now I’ve had to add in books sitting around on my bookshelves, because… it’s just too fun to pass up.

  18. phillyexpat says:

    Amen. It’s addictive!

  19. kepkanation says:

    I’ve added you to my “watch list” over at Library Thing. So many good books!

  20. ellenneithernor says:

    Dude, I would spend my entire four-day weekend toying with that thing if I could. So nifty! So shiny! So… silly.

  21. simplelyric says:

    I think I’ve heard of Library Thing before, but I’m not sure. At the moment I’m not going to follow the link to check it out; by others comments, it sounds very cool and very much out of my league in terms of the time I’d wind up committing to it.

    I’m glad you checked out Something New and liked it. I did, too (although you could probably tell that from a glance at my recent Netflix ratings). I’ve been a fan of Sanaa Lathan for several years, and her presence combined with the premise as presented in a preview I saw beforehand got me interested in seeing the movie. I don’t know that I’ve seen anything else of Simon Baker’s, so seeing him in the preview didn’t influence me one way or the other.

  22. simplelyric says:

    So, I didn’t lie, because I fully intended not to follow the Library Thing link; I just couldn’t resist. But all I’ve added so far are a few of the books that I own, and I haven’t tagged them or anything — yet.

  23. kepkanation says:

    Bwa-haha, I am a corrupter.

  24. simplelyric says:

    Yep. *g*

    While we’re generally on the subject of pimping things of common interest, I was thinking you might like to check out this site. I got a link to join the beta version free here thanks to my membership in another activist organization (I think it’s America Coming Together, but I can’t remember for sure).

  25. kepkanation says:

    That seems like a really great site. thanks for the link. And I love your icon.

  26. simplelyric says:

    You’re welcome, and thank you, although I had nothing to do with the icon’s creation. You might already know this, but the HRC folks made and offered it, plus an AIM-sized version, to any interested users. So if you’d like, you can snag it as well.

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