The movie ‘something new is a romantic drama directed by Hamri Sanaa. The movie focuses on interracial relationships and social customs. It features Kenya McQueen who us an accountant. She has a desire for perfection as she follows very firm rules in her private life. Leah Cahan, her co-worker, advises her to loosen up. As a result, she finds love in the most extraordinary situation when she accepts to go on a date with a Brian Kelly (landscape architect). Kenya meets Brian at Starbucks, and she is shocked to realize that Brian is white. She later leaves for home.
Suddenly, she meets Brian again at Leah’s place where Brian did ground keeping. Kenya is impressed by his work and opts to hire him to refurbish untidy backyard garden. The employer-employee relationship grows from friendship to love. Even though Brian is assisting her to feel comfortable about her new home, Kenya finds it had to send away her doubts about their love. The view of her friends Suzette, Nedra, cherry, her younger brother Nelson, her parents Joyce and Edmond start to have the harmful effect on her romance which separates them. In additions, Brian also seems unwilling to discuss the issue of race.
Her younger brother Nelson introduces Kenya to her IBM (ideal black man), Marker Harper who lives in Los Angeles. They begin to date, and her mother Joyce approves their relationship. However, the father notices that her daughter is not happier in her current relationship than she was with Brian. Suddenly, everything she chooses seems irrelevant and also what Harper does not excite her. When both disagree, she wants to return to Brian. In the end, she decides to marry Brian.
At every circle in the “something new’, the subject matter is the race. Racism for decades has been a prevalent problem, even in other movies, books. However, this movie seems to provide a solution. In the beginning, Brian is treated unfairly regarding his skin color. Conversely, at the end of the day, the issue of color or race is gone; it’s about love as a friend tells Kenya. Another friend adds that when it comes to love, it’s the heart that speaks and not one’s parent’s or society where he or she comes from. Accordingly, Kenya agrees with that and decides to follow her heart. She continues to give her client the best and hence making an expensive deal. Nevertheless, her boss seems support because she is talented and dedicated to her work. Her father Billings still offers hr support no matter what. He tells her not ever to give up and to work harder to make her dreams come true. This encourages another girl who overhears of their discussion wishing if she had such a dad like Kenya’s.
‘When it comes to making companionship and acquaintances, like the case of dogs, we have a lot to learn from them. This is because, when we return home, dogs never stop to be excited about us. In additions, they make our living by giving love.’ Dogs like us because we show them the authentic interest in them. Carnegie (1982). The same concept can apply in the case of Kenya and Brian. Kenya likes Brian because he shows interest in her, and admires her. Carnegie (1982) claims that people around us may like us if we show them genuine interest. Brian continues to show his real interest in Kenya to cultivate their love.
Wood (2014), talks about an interpersonal conflict which occurs during interactions where goals perceived are incompatible. He adds that interpersonal conflict may also come from scarce resources as well as divergent views. In the movie, something new, we are introduced to Kenya, an accountant, who appears to be having an interpersonal relationship with her goals. She is very proficient at her work life. She gets into friends tricks to attend a party of which contradicts with her persona principles. We also find her in a conflicting situation with her love life and Brian at a party. She gives Brian an awkward excuse and leaves the dining table.
Also in the movie, ‘something new’ Kenya, a daughter to the two prominent parents in society, Billing, and Alfre, have conflicting issues. Both parents had opposing views when Kenya got into a relationship with Mark. Interpersonal conflict may be conveyed verbally or nonverbally along a range of unnoticeable chilly shoulder to a very clear binge (Wood, 2014). Wood (2014), adds that this type of conflict is, however, different from violence abuse. It can go beyond some communication patterns. About that, Kenya’s father seems to understand that Kenya is not happier with mark than she was with Brian. The entire family of Kenya attends the Cotillion where the mother in a mockery manner confesses that she is held responsible for her unhappiness. Kenya goes to the bathroom where the father follows him consoling her. He tells her that her mother is a risk taker and the family doesn’t want her to marry mark. This is contrary to what the mother wants. In additions, Joyce who initially supports of Kenya’s idea to loosen up approves Kenya-Mark relationship. Accordingly, they are other several conflicts revealed in the movie; however, to sum it all up, Kenya reaches a solution as a conflict management style. She decides to follow her heart and goes for Brian.
Wood (2014), uses the theory of social exchange in his context, categorizing the relationship into social or involuntarily. A personal relationship is intimate and meets many of partner’s interpersonal needs. A type relationship between Kenya and Brian falls under personal relationship. The two are dedicated and interdependent from what people say about their race. Despite the fact that they separate at some points, their personal relationship brings their love to life again. On the other hand, an interpersonal factor separates Kenya from Mark. Mark appears as an ideal black man for Kenya, but Kenya discovers that it can work for her. Relationship deterioration is influenced by both environmental and interpersonal factors (Wood, 2014).
Brian seems to disagree with Kenya’s preferences of dating only black men. Regardless of Kenya’s rudeness, he decides to encourage her and to be kind to her. However, we also see other members of racism trying to treat him poorly. That being the case, as Johnson (1998), says, ‘why move with cheese?’ He does an interesting lesson using a ‘cheese’ (a metaphor) and a maze (what people look for. In his context, he uses a character Haw who learns, in the course of time, how to deal with change. About that, the world Kenya and Brian lives seem to live on racism. For instance, Kenya believes that, as well as her friend and family, it’s only a black man who can make a good husband. Love as used in Johnson context (1998) ‘maze’ leads to change where a black and a white wed.
As stated by Carnegie, to convince somebody to do what you want, you have to outline it in terms what that person likes. To achieve these, one has to get deep into their personal view as well as the way that person sees the thing. In relation to that, Kenya’s friends know of her workaholic nature and manage to convince her to attend a Valentine party. Initially, we see Kenya working very hard in her work life to try to get to the apex of the corporate hierarchy. She gets urged on by her dear friends to drop her dream of the IBM (ideal black man) and try something else. During the party, she is convinced to date an architect Brian Kelly. Accordingly, ‘one can make more friends in few weeks by becoming interested in them than in years by struggling to get them interested in you’ (Carnegie, 1981). The principal applies to Kenya who gets interested in her friend’s pieces of advice.
According to Carnegie (1981), People who were always smiling are inclined to sell more successfully, and to raise better-off children. There is far more message in a smile that a grimace. Brian Kelly, as seen in the Movie, ‘something new’ seems to be always smiling. Ideally, his smiling nature appears to draw Kenya closer to him, and the least expected happens. He ends up marrying Kenya despite the critics that he is white.
Carnegie points out that, ‘the most successful leaders know how to influence and win friends and people. They are like salespersons who go to the marketplace to make sales for the business. Brian is that kind of a person who, apart from him being an architect, knows how to win people’s hearts. In the beginning, he meets Kenya at a party and gets a job to landscape her new grounds. Conversely, Kenya is not happy when he comes to her place with a dog. Carnegie (1981), says that often we spend more time thinking about our own life. ‘At some point in life, we need to stop thinking about ourselves and begin thinking about other people close to us.’ Carnegie (1981) pieces of advice says that we need to look other people’s strengths and not weaknesses. Brian Kelly is determined to win people’s heart by being appreciative always. In the movie, Kenya seems not to withstand his outgoing nature, but Brian acts doing what Kenya likes. Finally, he wins her heart for marriage.
In the movie, “Something new’, I think that romance does not essentially overcome everything. Additionally, in a relationship, it takes time for two people to have a mutual understanding between them. Like in the case of something new, when partners understand each other they become color blind ignoring differences between them. In the end, the movie concludes with a wedding implying that Kenya forgets that Brian is a white. Ideally, the film ‘something new’ tries to portray triviality of perusing status for relieving and appearance’s sake.
Carnegie, D. (1981). How to win friends & Influence people. New York, NY: Pocket Books.
Johnson, S. (1998). Who moved my cheese? New York, NY: Putnam’s Sons.
Wood, J. (2014). Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters. 8th Ed. Boston, MA: Wadsworth.