Dave's Rating:

4.5

… genuinely lovey-dovey …

Who's in It: Sanaa Lathan, Simon Baker, Mike Epps, Donald Faison, Blair Underwood, Alfre Woodard

The Basics: He (Baker) is white and she (Lathan) is racially uptight. He's also too good to be true, and so our African-American heroine finds herself falling for him in spite of herself. That explanation makes it sound like a drag, right? But the surprise is that this romantic comedy is leaps and bounds better than you'd have any reason to expect it to be.

What's the Deal? First there was Jungle Fever. This updated, woman-centric version saves the silly euphemisms for interracial romance for the characters to say in the trailer instead: "Gettin' your swirl on," "Skiing the slopes," "Sneakin' off to the O.C.," etc. The only one missing is "Got milk?" But don't base your need-to-see decision on the trailer. It's smarter, more thoughtful and more genuinely lovey-dovey than that. It's the kind of Valentine's Day movie that couples and singles can dig equally. Unless, of course, Hostel is your idea of a good Valentine's Day movie. If so, then ignore this entire review.

Goodwill Generated, on a Scale of One to 10: Eight. In fact, it's so decent and not stupid — i.e., no one has wacky misunderstandings that could be solved with that one conversation no one bothers to have, there are no cutesy reaction shots from a dog, no one falls down into a big cake, no one has to get to the church on time to stop the wedding — that the clichéd stuff it does dare to serve up (he's a landscape architect who, uh, makes her barren backyard bloom) is totally forgivable.

MVP: Donald Faison. Why isn't this guy a household name yet? He's funny all the time. He's on Scrubs. It's time for him to get moved to starring roles.

Number of People Involved Named "Sanaa": Two. The star and the director. Is there a club?

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