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.
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”.
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.