It’s a sequel almost 15 years in the making. That’s right. The Best Man came out almost 15 years ago! This opens up an untold number of possibilities for Hollywood. If you can make a sequel to some movie that came out almost 15 years ago, how far back could you go? The Breakfast Club 2 almost 30 years later? The Graduate 2 about 46 years later? Casablanca 2 a mere 71 years later?
In The Best Man Holiday, the old gang hasn’t seen each other in almost 15 years, but Mia (Monica Calhoun) is aching to gather all of the old friends together for Christmas. Of course, because it is a movie, everyone has gone on to massive success.
Harper (Taye Diggs) went on to become a famous author and professor at NYU, while his wife, Robyn (Sanaa Lathan) is an accomplished chef who is pregnant and due on New Year’s Eve.
Quentin (Terrence Howard) is running a sought after marketing firm.
Jordan (Nia Long) is a top executive at MSNBC.
Julian (Harold Perrineau) and Candace (Regina Hall) head up a top flight school for the underprivileged.
Lance (Morris Chestnut) is on the verge of retiring from the NFL as the record holder for most rushing yards.
And, Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) has become a superstar of reality television.
Of course, because it is a movie, everyone has a secret to hide and the holiday weekend will lead to shocking revelations, sacrifices, sobbing and smiles.
With this much chemistry and this much talent in one movie, you have a winner, no matter how predictable or sappy the whole thing becomes.
Writer/director Malcolm D. Lee knew exactly what he was doing when he went for an old fashioned, feel good and make you cry holiday movie that could become yearly viewing for those who fall in love with the ups and downs of The Best Man characters.
Lee is playing on the emotions of the audience from the beginning, as each person who bought a ticket kind of knows which rivalries will be buried, what major twist is coming for which character, and how each storyline is guaranteed to be resolved, but it’s all OK, because it’s hard not to laugh at the goofy stuff, and not to cry at the emotional stuff.
Howard seems to be having more fun that he has had in years as Quentin is the instigator who will say what is on his mind and call out any of his pals who are trying to skirt the truth. His joy is infectious.
Then, the rest of the cast has the ability to make the move from comedy to drama as Lee reveals all of the secrets hiding beneath the surface in The Best Man Holiday. They all work so well together, as if they have all been lifelong pals and the audience is getting a chance to join in the revelry, which is kind of the perfect film for the holidays.
However, The Best Man Holiday has a strange mix of spirituality and the risqué. Those who are more religious will be very pleased with some characters’ open expression of faith, but might be shocked by the pot smoking or frank sexual talk. I can only imagine how the religious audience will react to the audience looking for the naughty, and vice versa.
Some of the predictability is grating, but The Best Man Holiday puts you in the spirit to reach out to those close to you, even if you haven’t seen them in a few years.
The Best Man Holiday is rated R for language, sexual content and brief nudity