When the college friends finally reunite over the Christmas holidays, they will discover just how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and romances to be ignited.
- Release Date: November 15th, 2013
- Monica Calhoun
- Morris Chestnut
- Melissa De Sousa
- Taye Diggs
- Regina Hall
The Best Man was a modestly popular 1999 comedy-drama with a completely African-American ensemble cast. Some of its stars (Terrence Howard, Nia Long, Taye Diggs) have been more steadily employed and visible since than others, but all are hereby reunited for a belated sequel from the same writer-director, Malcolm D. Lee. It’s a Christmas get-together scenario with a debt to 1983’s The Big Chill, as this gang of old friends all descend on the whopping-great mansion owned by their most successful member, an American football star played by Morris Chestnut, and his wife Mia (Monica Calhoun).
- The tone oscillates between raunchy, vicious, and sentimental. There’s tiresome stuff about which of the women are better at oral sex, and it reaches a nadir during the mid-film cat-fight between Regina Hall – best in show, despite her character’s demeaning backstory – and De Sousa’s scheming hussy of a reality-TV star.
- This is broad-brush stuff, with little original insight into how wealth has shaped this crew for good and bad. Howard’s wacky costumes make him look like even more of a pimp than the one he played in Hustle & Flow, and Sanaa Lathan’s character, despite the excuse of being pregnant, is so strenuously passive-aggressive she gets on your nerves.
Somehow, though, this bumper seasonal angst-fest gradually gets its hooks in. The cancer bombshell about a major character is more sincerely dramatised than you’re expecting, and Diggs and Chestnut create at least one persuasive relationship – they’re close friends estranged by the meteoric rise of one and the career stagnation of the other.