Fans have been waiting 14 years for the sequel to the 1999 sleeper hit “The Best Man”. I, too, am a huge fan of the movie, but I’ve been waiting a shorter amount of time than some, because I didn’t watch the original until years after its release. When the news broke back in 2011 that Malcom D. Lee was developing a sequel to his successful predecessor, I was instantly filled with excitement. As time progressed, all nine original cast members joined the project and it was a go.
The sequel, “The Best Man Holiday” opens with a quick recap leading up to the time of the current film. It helps those moviegoers who may not be familiar with the original see how the group of friends got to the point from which the new movie opens. From there, we dive right into the present day lives of every cast member and quickly see what each have been up to in the time since the first film. The first hour of the film jumps right into establishing the plot and getting everyone back together.
From there, all hell breaks loose. Secrets, deceptions, and deep emotions all come out to play. Don’t let the commercials fool you, this movie is not all lollipop, rainbows, and filled with laughter. There is laughter, and it’s abundant at times. There is also plenty of drama, gut-wrenching moments that will drive a knife into your heart, and feel good moments that will warm your soul.
My favorite thing about this film is the way that it feels real. It is unafraid to show a mixture of raunchy comedy, foul language, and devout faith all wrapped into one film. I appreciated that, maybe more than anything else, because it felt genuine to me. That is real life. That is how people react, deal with, and grow from events in his or her life. The relationships and the trials and tribulations this group of friends goes through shines through like a real life experience. The film deals with relationships between spouses and friends in an exceptional way, yet shows their imperfections beautifully.
It was wonderful to see the entire original cast reunited and back in action. Each character is so different in his or her unique way. The chemistry between all of them is still incredible. I know it’s hard to imagine nine cast members all having great chemistry, but it was true in 1999 and it is true now. Terrence Howard’s character, Quentin, is my favorite. Just when you think the drama is getting too high or the sadness is too much, he is there to hysterically lighten the mood. Monica Calhoun gives a strong, uplifting performance that stole my heart and emotions in the movie, and when you watch you will see why. I could go on about everyone else, but that could be a separate article in itself. They are all marvelous and, when watching the film, you will see why.
It is hard to write this review and not give away the details, plot, and ending. I will say this, though. From beginning to end, the film is absolutely outstanding and is pure joy to watch. It is everything fans wanted and more for the sequel, but there a lot of surprises in store that ultimately help this group of friends story evolve into something wonderful.
Sure, there are things that audiences may see coming with hints of foreshadowing in the film, but, when it’s all over, that was really the only way to end this movie correctly. From a fan of the original, I give this film an A- rating. If the ending is set up like I think it’s supposed to, I cannot wait to watch what happens next with this group of friends. I recommend watching the first film before going to see the sequel because it will make you appreciate this new film so much more.
“The Best Man Holiday” is rated R for language, sexual content and brief nudity.