Film Review: The Gang Happily Reunites in ‘The Best Man Holiday’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Like a black “Big Chill,” the gang from the 1999 essential film “The Best Man” reunite to see old friends, celebrate the season, open old wounds and bury the past in a surprisingly serious yet emotionally spiritual sequel “The Best Man Holiday.” Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The writer/director Malcolm D. Lee is back to steer the effort, which keeps it from sliding into maudlin territory. There is the same fraternal give-and-take between the men in the story, but it is tempered with advancing middle age, leading into several transitions which the whole group must face. There is an unexpected religious element thrown in – from the most unlikely of sources – but somehow that works as well, keeping a balance within events that are seemingly spinning out of control. It’s good to see that all races and cultures can indulge in upper middle class pornography – the wealth and materialism on display is almost overwhelming – but the theme is friendship, and the warmth and humor generated from the first film spills into this holiday, ranging from somber to merry.

Harper (Taye Diggs) is an author facing a serious case of writer’s block, and the impending birth of his first child with wife Robyn (Sanaa Lathan). It has been several years since his last best seller, and his agent suggests tapping into the record-breaking football career of Lance (Morris Chestnut), and writing a biography. This is conveniently timed with a holiday reunion of his old gang at Lance’s palatial estate, including Quentin (Terrence Howard), Julian (Harold Parrineau), Shelby (Melissa De Sousa), Candace (Regina Hall) and Jordan (Nia Long).

The host of this Christmastide soiré is Mia (Monica Calhoun), Lance’s loving wife and den mother to the still conflicted friends. There are some old scores to be settled during their time together, as old rivalries and romances resurface. Secrets are revealed as well, and they have implications for the whole group. How much love, friendship, religion, sex and woe can friends endure?

“The Best Man Holiday” opens everywhere on November 15th. Featuring Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Nia Long, John Michael Higgins, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa, Regina Hall and Sanaa Lathan. Written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ”The Best Man Holiday”

Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard
Harper (Taye Diggs) and Quentin (Terrence Howard) Bond in ‘The Best Man Holiday’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ”The Best Man Holiday”

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