The Best Man Holiday has hit the theaters with a big bang, exceeding the expectations of some film critics. Opening on November 15th, theaters were immediately sold out throughout the day and night as old and new fans headed to the movies. The film has already earned $30 million at the box office! It is a stunning release after 14 years since its 1999 predecessor classic, The Best Man, which earned a little over $9 million in its opening weekend. Director Malcolm D. Lee has garnered many praises and some critiques, but mostly nudges and questions of why the fourteen year gap. As a pre-millenium first feature film for Lee he has stated he did not intend to do a sequel right away. “I thought I’d leave the fans wanting more. But even then I thought that I might revisit the characters 10 years later when they had a chance to live some life, and I had a chance to live some life.”
With that being said The Best Man Holiday, fourteen years later, is the perfect re-introduction and reunion for characters Harper, Jordan, Robyn, Lance, Mia, Shelby, Julian, Quentin and Candace. Since you last watched them back in ’99 in the theaters, there was tons of love in the air, some secrets, and plenty of laughter. In the first installment, Harper Stewart (Taye Diggs) landed himself in hot water, then got cold feet after the leaked release of his novel which told the tale of a too coincidental story of his college friends. As the best man to pro-football player Lance Sullivan (Morris Chestnut) for his wedding to Mia Morgan (Monica Calhoun), things got testy, weird and complicated for many of the characters. Its first ending left open the possibility for a continuation.
The Best Man Holiday, worth the wait, kicks off with some similar drama plus more as Harper finds himself in a rut with his career as an author and learning to adapt to the new change coming for him and his expectant wife Robin (Sanaa Lathan). In the first film, Harper professed his love to her, asking for her hand in marriage at Lance and Mia’s wedding. In the newest version you’ll catch up with the crew as some have had children, caught a dose of reality television, and in some cases, the new age of technology threatens a marriage.
The film’s holiday theme is a great touch as some scenes are chilling, festive and on occasion musical. It is a Christmas these characters will find hard to forget. What works with this second film is the realness that the characters experience; it allows the audience to connect emotionally. It is a storyline which might make you feel as if you are on the journey with them.
The opening weekend of The Best Man Holiday is proof that supporting black cinema is important so that more stories can be told, more characters to connect with. For an overall feel-good film, check out The Best Man Holiday. You’ll laugh, and possibly shed a few tears during the already blockbuster film.
Fourteen years ago audiences discovered the arc of letting your guard down, mending friendships, and learning to let a little love in. This film takes on that intimate approach that may leave you with a warm heart of balancing change, and a new outlook of what is to come.
Elishia Peterson is a blossoming freelance journalist based in Philadelphia. Her work has been featured on publications including Looklab, Crème Magazine, Cred, and Examiner covering budget fashion stories. She recently earned her Masters degree in Writing Studies which has pushed her to strive to be creative in her craft.