The Best Man Holiday delivers a roller coaster of emotions in time for the holidays
Is the ‘The Best Man Holiday’ a naughty or nice sequel to 1999’s ‘The Best Man’? Perhaps it’s a little bit of both!
I’ve read statistics that say spirits traditionally run low during the impending holiday season. After having my heart stomped all over by so-called friends and spending 12+ hours in hospital rooms waiting to hear the diagnosis of a loved one this week, I was very tempted to see if someone else at CliqueClack could cover the preview for The Best Man Holiday. After all, I haven’t even seen the movie’s precursor (1999’s The Best Man). But I decided to give it a shot because movies typically have the ability to transform my mood and I do love the idea of a holiday romance or two. I’m happy I ended up going.
“Times change. Friendship doesn’t.” That’s the tagline for Universal Pictures’ The Best Man Holiday. Basically, the plot centers around a group of college friends who decide to reunite for the holidays after a 15-year hiatus. The film features the talents of Monica Calhoun, Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, and Harold Perrineau in the leading roles. Despite my not having seen the original movie, I was still able to follow this one’s plot and picked up some of what must have transpired the last time around. I actually enjoyed this one so much that I think I will look for the other film soon.
I’ve always wanted to go on an epic holiday vacation and especially one with a large group of friends – doesn’t a cozy cabin in the snow-covered woods with a large fireplace and hot cocoa sound appealing right about now or is that just me? In The Best Man Holiday, everyone gathers at the majestic home of Lance and Mia. Lance is a professional football player and everything they have at their house is of the highest quality. I wish I knew people with that stunning of a home and holiday décor. God, family and football are what are most important to Lance’s clan.
Naturally, just about everyone in this circle of friends has a secret or two that gets revealed throughout the course of the holiday vacation. Old romances and rivalries run deep and occasionally rear their ugly head. In my opinion, that’s one of the film’s underlying messages. Everyone has a secret or two lurking inside their proverbial closet, but if you’re truly friends, you should be able to work past any secrets to preserve your friendship no matter how detrimental they may be. Whether it’s a terminal illness, an unrequited crush, financial woes or a hidden affair of the heart they’re not proud to admit, people are often so much more than what they seem once you take the time to scratch beneath the surface.
For me, The Best Man Holiday was the perfect roller coaster of emotions just in time for the holidays. Will Harper ever publish another bestseller? Will Julian ever choose between Shelby and Candace once and for all? Will Jordan ever find true love? There are a few clichéd moments here and there, but really what movie doesn’t feature at least one cliché in it these days?
Although only appearing briefly in the beginning of the movie as Harper’s literary agent, John Michael Higgins delivers one of my favorite lines. He tells struggling author Harper (Taye Diggs) that people only have the attention span for 140 characters (Tweets) these days and not 140 characters (alluding to his latest novel attempt having too many characters in it). I don’t care what anybody says – this movie could easily pack in another 130 main characters and I’d still find a way to get wrapped up in each one’s story and fall in love with them.
Hands down, the best scene in the film is the one in which the leading men, resplendent in black shiny suits and hats, do a lip-syncing rendition of New Edition’s Can You Stand the Rain while the women sip champagne and watch. There was so much eye candy I didn’t know who to look at the most! If I had to select a favorite character though, I would have to say Terrence Howard as Quentin steals the show – he’s hilarious in just about every scene he’s in!
The importance of strong friendships, love and faith are the resurgent themes I took away from The Best Man Holiday. I’m ashamed to admit I don’t think I’ve ever experienced any of these three things in quite the capacity that I feel like I should have by this point in my life, if this movie is any indication. But I guess there’s always next year, and judging by the way the movie ended, perhaps a third installment of this franchise will come around soon to teach even more of life’s important lessons. I, for one, would look forward to it.