An entertaining alternative. “The Best Man Holiday” serves up too many story-lines in reuniting old friends, rivals, and attitudes in what is an otherwise entertaining alternative to other viewing choices currently in theaters.
Hello moviegoers, “The Best Man Holiday” is director Malcolm D. Lee’s sequel to 1999’s “The Best Man” which starts with a flashback montage that brings us to present day. Lee gets the gang back together for a Christmas weekend at the home of Lance and Mia Sullivan (who are played by Morris Chestnut and Monica Calhoun).
The rest of the cast like last time is Harper, Robyn, Shelby, Quentin, Candace, Jordan, and Julian (who are played by Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Melissa De Sousa, Terrence Howard, Regina Hall, Nia long, and Harold Perrineau respectively).
‘The Best Man Holiday’ (2 ½ sweet potatoes out of four) Stars: Monica Calhoun, Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa, Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Regina Hall, Nia long; Director: Malcolm D. Lee; Genre: Drama, Comedy; Rated R; Runtime: 122 minutes; opens Friday, November 15th.
Harper’s career has stalled. His last book was a flop and he has just been laid off from his job and to further complicate things, he and his jewel of a wife Robyn are expecting a baby. His agent Stan (John Michael Higgins) tries to convince him to write Lance’s unauthorized autobiography and Harper sees Mia’s Christmas invitation is an opportunity to covertly pursue the idea.
Mia wants to get everyone together again because it has been a long time, but she also has other reasons on a personal level. Everyone has arrived at the Sullivan’s home which has plenty of room for everyone partly due to Lance’s successful football career which sees him closing in on the league’s rushing record in this his final season.
It’s not long before the cat fighting starts. To intercede, Mia calls for an air band performance to which the men perform New Edition’s “Can You Stand the Rain” for the ladies and receive a standing ovation for their effort. This gets everyone through the night, but it won’t be long before the bickering resumes. When a scandalous video from Candace’s past as a stripper comes to light, it places her husband Julian in a difficult situation at work and leads to fisticuffs between her and Shelby.
Quentin is the only one of the group who isn’t facing any real difficulty professionally or personally. He has less of a filter than the others but he’s actually pretty well-reasoned, provides comic relief and a measure of stability to many members of the group.
Finally there is Jordan who struggles to find a balance between being an independent career woman and allowing herself to be vulnerable or dependent on anyone. Her attempt to help Harper advance his autobiographical plot is revealed to Lance and this would introduce another explosive round of fireworks in this holiday play and further aggravates Lance’s animosity towards Harper for sleeping with Mia all those years ago.
With so much time elapsing between the making of the first and the second film, it would have been more provocative if the director had focus on the evolution of fewer characters this time. The movie does highlight the importance of one’s faith, in this case Lance and Mia’s faith in the face of personal tragedy; and also, the idea of being there and being a friend not only in good and bad times but also being there more in general. I give “The Best Man Holiday” 2 ½ sweet potatoes out of four.
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