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THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY Movie Review

The Best Man Holiday
R....122 min.....Comedy, Drama 
November 15, 2013

best man holiday
© 2013 Universal Pictures

WRITER / DIRECTOR: .Malcolm D. Lee
best man holiday
Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan,
Nia Long, Harold Perrineau, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa

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DISTRIBUTOR: .Universal Pictures
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Grade:. ★★★½ / 5

SYNOPSIS: Throughout the years, there have been marriages, children and divorces—not to mention all the love and heartbreak that accompany a life well lived—but the group has not been able to manage a proper get-together since Lance and Mia’s wedding. But that’s all about to be remedied. When the college friends finally reunite over the Christmas holidays, they will discover just how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and passionate romances to be reignited.

Although listed only as a comedy by IMDb and Fandango, make no mistake: Malcolm D. Lee‘s The Best Man Holiday is a straight-up, bring-your-own-tissues dramedy. Reuniting the remarkable cast of its prequel—Lee’s 1999 romantic dramedy The Best Man—for an entertaining sequel, The Best Man Holiday is frequently at its best in scenes and themes properly labeled ‘dramatic’—and, in some cases, ‘tragic.’ (Spring for the tissues with lotion—your face will not thank you for using concession stand napkins.)

The Best Man Holiday suffers no shortage of talent—in fact, the film is uniquely blessed in this area, boasting a highly talented cast whose individual performances are only enhanced by the group’s incredible ensemble chemistry. Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, and Monica Calhoun ably anchor the film’s primary drama, while the frequently laugh-out-loud funny comedy of Terrence Howard and Melissa De Sousa lightens the emotional load. And if you’re looking for action, The Best Man Holiday has that too: from football to fighting (and cat-fighting), no one sat down on this job. The cast’s tremendous talent extends even unto the dance floor, exploding off the screen in an instant-classic “air band” performance that is one of The Best Man Holiday‘s most enjoyable scenes.

Can you see The Best Man Holiday without having seen The Best Man? Yes, The Best Man Holiday can work as a stand-alone film—it even opens with a delightful montage that traces each couple’s/person’s life between the prequel’s end and sequel’s beginning. A familiarity with The Best Man, however, is necessary to fully appreciate the characters’ struggles and growth (or lack thereof), not only between the two films, but also during the events of The Best Man Holiday. Viewers who are particularly well acquainted with The Best Man may even be able to guess The Best Man Holiday‘s secret from the trailer alone. (I guessed correctly—no spoilers here—and have to admit: I wish I’d been wrong…and have rarely been so sad about being right.)

If you’re in the mood for hearty laughs and heartfelt tears, look no further than The Best Man Holiday. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll want to run out and reaffirm your own relationships with those friends that have always felt more like family.

P.S. Bring a few extra tissues, just in case those sitting near you come unprepared. Sharing is caring—and, as an added bonus, this small mitzvah will likely spare you an hour of listening to your neighbors’ desperate (and unsuccessful) attempts to sniffle back their tears.

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Featured Image: © 2013 Universal Pictures

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The Author

Sarah Katz

Sarah Katz

Born-and-bred New Yorker. Lifelong film & TV lover—from chick flicks, rom-coms, rom-droms, rom-drams, and tweentertainment, to Shakespeare, period pieces, James Bond, fairy tales, and mafia movies.