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Film Review: 'The Best Man Holiday'

Jillian Baker |
November 15, 2013 | 11:19 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

"The Best Man Holiday" opens in theaters today (Universal Pictures).
"The Best Man Holiday" opens in theaters today (Universal Pictures).

It seems that movie audiences can’t get away from sequels these days. And it’s only on rare occasions that the sequel doesn’t mess up the greatness of the first movie.

Well, get ready for another rare occasion! “The Best Man Holiday” (directed by Malcolm D. Lee), the sequel to the Black Hollywood classic, “The Best Man” (1999), opens in theaters today – reuniting all of our favorite characters for the holidays.

The last time we saw the stars of this romantic-dramedy all together – Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Monica Calhoun, Harold Perrineau, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard and Melissa De Sousa (whew, what a cast!) – they were just newcomers to the industry. Now, they're mature, household names in the Black community, with many successes under their belts.

Expect to see said-maturity and talent on-screen. But where did we leave off in the "Best Man" story? At the end of the original movie, we saw our favorite crew electric-sliding into the sunset. Lance (Chestnut) married Mia (Calhoun) despite her one-night stand with the best man (Harper). Harper proposed to Robyn (Lathan), Jordan (Long) decided to let Harper go, Julian (Perrineau) fell in love with a stripper, Candy (Hall) – cue the T-pain song - and Quentin (Howard) and Shelby (De Sousa) woke up in bed together scantily clad.

READ MORE: Interview: 'The Best Man Holiday' Actors Discuss Sequel

In this holiday edition of the hit film, we find that 15 years later the gang has had many successes, but success hasn’t come without its woes. Harper struggles to make ends meet after being laid off by NYU and flopping sales of his second book. His now-pregnant wife, Robyn, is a top chef, but she worries about healthily giving birth to her first child. 
Lance is a professional football icon and family man, but he must deal with the fact that his football career is soon ending.

The kind-hearted Mia, reunites the gang one last time for the holidays and finally her character gets more storyline. 
Julian and Candace are married with children and head a charter school together. But can Julian really turn a former stripper into a housewife?

Successful TV producer, Jordan, has a new beau, but she’s not ready to commit. Let’s just say her new man is a little less tanned than the rest of the cast (but great eye candy, nonetheless)! What would a 21st century cast be without a reality television star? Shelby landed herself a book deal and a lucrative spot on Real Housewives of (Insert Location Here…). And of course, she’s still a hater.

 The Men of The Best Man (Universal Pictures).
The Men of The Best Man (Universal Pictures).

Finally, there’s Quentin, the “I-told-you-so” character who really has no storyline. But, he’s probably the most comedic-yet-wise person in the film.

Let’s not forget the unresolved tension that exists between the characters, either. Whether it’s between Lance and Harper, Jordan and Robyn, or Shelby and Candace – it’s bound to be a holiday showdown.

“The Best Man Holiday” has the perfect mixture of spark, sass, comedy, raunchiness, romance and tragedy embedded in the film that forces you to fall in love with the movie all over again, but it isn’t better than the original. The storyline is truly second-rate for such great actors and unfortunately it brings the movie down.

Yet, the “Best Man Holiday” doesn’t interfere with the beauty of the first movie. Instead the characters create just enough nostalgia to make the new movie worth seeing. 
What “The Best Man” and “The Best Man Holiday” do right is highlight a talented and loved Black cast.

“The Best Man” movies will stand the test of time because they promote real Black love and friendship, themes that haven’t been at the forefront of movies since the “urban renaissance” of the 1990s. Especially during these times where society is questioning the “marriageability” and beauty of the Black woman and the faithfulness of the Black man, “The Best Man Holiday” comes right on time to remind the world of the beauty of Black people.

So, go see “The Best Man Holiday,” out in theaters everywhere today! It’s a tear-jerker, but be prepared to laugh it up, as well.

Shout out to the handsome fellas of the flick for that swagged out dance number to New Edition’s, "Can You Stand the Rain." Ladies, you’ll love it! 

Watch the trailer for “The Best Man Holiday” below.

Reach Staff Reporter Jillian Baker here.



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