"The Best Man Holiday" is a Fun Reunion

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If you have to wait 15 years for a sequel it better be a good one. 1999’s “The Best Man” created so many stars that it seems only right that they would want to get back to the characters that  launched their careers. “The Best Man Holiday” is the reunion fans have been waiting to for. 

Admittedly, the film feels like a family reunion and if you don’t know the characters then you may feel a little out of place. Fifteen years after the wedding of Lance (Morris Chestnut) and Mia Sullivan (Monica Calhoun), the film finds its’ characters in new points in their lives. While some have remained close, others have drifted apart. Harper (Taye Diggs), a now struggling novelist, and his wife Robyn (Sanaa Lathan) are expecting their first child. Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) is the star of Real Housewives of Westchester, and Quentin (Terrance Howard) hasn’t changed a bit as the immature musician with one thing on his mind.

Mia calls the gang together for the Christmas holiday. Each member brings their own pink elephant to the getaway, like Julian (Harold Perrineau) losing a two million dollar investor due to a video on the internet of his ex-stripper wife Candy (Regina Hall). It’s the foot-in-mouth awkwardness that makes the group reunion so good. Instead of saying what they’re thinking or need to say, they talk around the issues. 

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The screenplay drops enough bread crumbs to keep viewers looking for the next piece, although occasionally a piece of cake telegraphs what’s coming next. Overall the pacing of the film mixes laughs with melodramatic moments that true fans will eat up, while others may not be so enthused about, but it entertains. You know there’s magic happening on screen when an audience starts singing and laughing to “Can You Stand the Rain”.  

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Malcolm D. Lee has made a career off of directing ensemble performances. It’s evident in this film that he’s a more seasoned director and brings out the best in his cast. The heart of the film is about family, love and forgiveness. Like with any family you have your fights, but love will bring you back together. Although the film has its melodramatic moments, “The Best Man Holiday” is a fan’s dream and is sure to do well with audiences looking to reunite with old friends.

Rating: B

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.