Release Date: November 15, 2013
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Writer: Malcolm D. Lee
Cast: Monica Calhoun, Morris Chesnut, Melissa De Sousa, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau, Eddie Cibrian, Riele Downs, Richie Lawrence, Millie Davis, Linden Liles-McCurdy, Isis Moore, Shai Pierre-Dixon, Allison Augustin, Paulina B. Abarca
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 123 minutes
By: Universal Pictures
Genre: Comedy, Drama
After 15 years the whole gang is back, and it’s exciting to see how they’ve grown. On the outside all seems fine, but a secret or two may eventually erupt. When I initially heard of the sequel my face frowned asking, what’s the reason, other than a possible money grab from the studio. I thought, there’s no story to tell, it can’t top or even come close to first, and/or what is the motivation? Other than a few good laughs and some heartwarming moments there isn’t. While others may disagree (everyone else was raving on how much they loved it walking out), The Best Man Holiday is filled with laughs, but the motivation behind its making still makes me scratch my head.
The story takes off right where the previous film left off. I began to smile as I was thrown into characters I came to love from the past. I’m usually not a fan of long opening credits. They can clock me out of the movie waiting for the film to kick off, but director Malcolm D. Lee did a great job in this area. It’s a montage of clips from the first film of each character, flash forwarding to clips of where the characters are today. At this time it really feels like I’m part of that world again. Lance is still a God fearing man, Harper still turns his noise up, Quentin is still inappropriate, Julian still talks too much, Jordan seems lost, Robyn is still a worry warrior, Mia is still the quite sneaky one, Candace is still sexy, and Shelby’s still a BITCH. We also see new relationships, new children, exciting careers, and matured personalities. Some are living the lavish life, but not so much for others.
As we get through all the introductions, my mind starts to wonder. I ask myself, “Why Are We Here?” I think most will agree that Christmas is one of, if not the biggest holidays of the year. With that being said you would want to be surrounded by loved ones or simply people you want to be around. In my opinion, if I don’t like a person to the point of seeing them makes me want to vomit, I’m not going to invite them over my house for Christmas weekend. On the flipside, if I don’t like someone and I’m invited to their home for the weekend, I’m not going to attend. I will pretend like the invitation got lost in the mail. Yet here we are with friends (or so called friends) under one roof that don’t get along. This big question mark took place for the entire first half of the movie, and became quite irritating. What saved the first half and pretty much the entire film was the comedy relief especially from Terrance Howard’s character Quentin. Everyone involved really got back into character but TH stole the show. Thinking back I honestly feel that every single time he was onscreen he was acting nuts that made you do nothing but laugh. So hats off to him. After a while we finally find out what the inspiration of the invites are. Is it predictable? Slightly, but not disappointing. Though the reason the invites were accepted in the first place is still a mystery.
Some of the plot devices that moved the story along felt a bit forced. That’s a shame because they would have worked perfectly with a little tweaking. Sometimes they made no sense at all. If I didn’t mention it before this is a character driven film, though at some points some may come off as caricatures. Even though these are adults, a scene or two they acted like children. Is it funny? Maybe to some, but I found the behavior to be completely unrealistic. I respected Lance’s character the most. In spite of everyone he’s going through he puts God first. He may asked questions, but doesn’t questions God’s plan and accepts it as is.
In the end, it all comes together. Many of my frustrations withered away as the story progressed, but it isn’t forgotten. While I enjoyed The Best Man Holiday it doesn’t meet up remotely to the first. The previous film had realistic confrontations that I myself or anyone will have a hard time swallowing. Finding out your Best Man slept with your fiancé the night before your wedding is the worst. Though you still got your happy ending. There’s a happy ending here as well but its takes some sacrifice.