The Best Man (1999 film)
|The Best Man|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Malcolm D. Lee|
|Produced by||Spike Lee
|Written by||Malcolm D. Lee|
Melissa De Sousa
|Music by||Stanley Clarke|
|Edited by||Cara Silverman|
|40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release date(s)||October 22, 1999 (US)|
|Running time||120 minutes|
The Best Man is an American 1999 romantic comedy-drama film, written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee. It was produced by 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, with Lee's cousin, Spike Lee, serving as producer. The film stars Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut and Sanaa Lathan, and is considered to be a male-centered answer to female-targeted films such as Waiting to Exhale.
A Christmas-themed sequel, The Best Man Holiday, was released on November 15, 2013 with a reunited cast.
|This article needs an improved plot summary. (November 2013)|
Harper Stewart (Diggs) is a young man living in Chicago with his beautiful and devoted girlfriend named Robin (Lathan). In an early scene of the film, the couple lounges together in a tub and it becomes clear to the audience that all is not well in the relationship. As Robin sighs contentedly and idly mentions that she could stay like this forever, the audience is able to infer that Harper, whose professional life is on the verge of a major level change upward, feels that committing to a woman now would be a death-knell for him. Harper's debut novel, an autobiography entitled, Unfinished Business, has been selected by Oprah's Book Club, a seal of approval that pretty much guarantees him a best seller.
The audience then travels with Harper to New York City, where his best friend Lance (Chestnut) is getting married to a young lady named Mia (Calhoun), who is also considered a friend by Harper, and where Jordan (Long), Harper's old woulda-coulda-shoulda flame, has obtained an advanced copy of his book and has been passing it around their inner circle of friends. Due to its autobiographical nature, Harper never intended for any of them to read "Unfinished Business" prior to the wedding, but they do and eventually this wretched version of his novel makes its way to the groom. To the disgust of Quentin (Howard), Harper goes to great lengths to prevent Lance from completing his read of "Unfinished Business", but on the night of the bachelor party, Lance does just that. What he finds out causes him to cancel his nuptials to Mia.
Meanwhile in the subplot, Murch (Perrineau), also a friend of Harper's, and his long time girlfriend Shelby (De Sousa), who is NOT considered a friend by Harper, deal with their relationship. Candy (Hall), one of the strippers who dances at Lance's bachelor party, plays a role in this part of the story.
- Taye Diggs as Harper Stewart
- Nia Long as Jordan Armstrong
- Morris Chestnut as Lance Sullivan
- Harold Perrineau as Julian Murch
- Terrence Howard as Quentin Spivey
- Sanaa Lathan as Robin
- Melissa De Sousa as Shelby
- Monica Calhoun as Mia Morgan
- Regina Hall as Candace Sparks (aka Candy)
- Jim Moody as Uncle Skeeter
- Jarrod Bunch as Wayne
- Victoria Dillard as Anita
The film received mostly positive reviews from audiences and critics. The film review website Allmovie gave the film 3/5 stars, with reviewer Jason Clark stating that while the film has "occasional moments of ripe humor, but it fails to say anything new about troubled weddings or the experience of being an upwardly mobile African-American looking for love." At Metacritic, the film averaged a favorable 61% rating from critics. It currently holds a 72% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and was deemed "impressive" by the site. Also, the film has earned a B+ average from users at the Yahoo! Movies site. Made on a relatively small budget of nine million dollars, the film went on to make over $34,000,000, nearly four times as much as it cost to produce the picture, by the end of its theatrical run.
The film also went on to receive numerous awards and accolades. Terrence Howard's performance in particular earned much praise from many film critics, and in hindsight The Best Man is now considered to be his breakout film. Later, he made the jump to other films and to the TV series Law and Order: Los Angeles. Jason Clark in his Allmovie review even stated that although Taye Diggs does well in his first true starring role, Howard "commands the screen with such abandon that one secretly wishes the film could have been all about his oddly captivating character". All eight of the principal cast members received nominations for the film at the 2000 NAACP Image Awards, however only Howard and Nia Long won. The film itself also won Outstanding Motion Picture.
|The Best Man (soundtrack)|
|Soundtrack album by Various artists|
|Released||October 12, 1999|
|Genre||Hip hop, R&B|
|Producer||Bonnie Greenberg (exec.), Lisa Brown (exec.)|
The film's soundtrack, released October 12, 1999, peaked at number 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, and number 16 on The Billboard 200 in 1999.
|1||"What You Want"*||The Roots, Jaguar||4:16|
|2||"Let's Not Play the Game"*||Maxwell||4:32|
|3||"After All Is Said and Done"||Beyoncé, Marc Nelson||4:15|
|4||"Poetry Girl"||Eric Benét||5:29|
|5||"Liar, Liar"||Latocha Scott||4:41|
|6||"Best Man"||Faith Evans||3:26|
|7||"Beautiful Girl"||Kenny Lattimore||4:04|
|8||"Hit It Up"||Sporty Thievz||3:39|
|9||"Turn Your Lights Down Low"*||Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill||4:02|
|11||"As My Girl"||Maxwell||3:11|
|12||"Wherever You Go"||Sygnature||5:31|
|13||"When the Shades Go Down"||Allure||4:56|
|14||"The Best Man I Can Be"*||Case, Ginuwine, RL, and Tyrese||6:29|
(*): Indicates songs were released as singles
- The song playing during the scene where Harper and Jordan almost make love in college is "As" by Stevie Wonder, from his classic 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life. It does not appear on the soundtrack album, but appears on the soundtrack for the sequel The Best Man Holiday covered by Anthony Hamilton and Marsha Ambrosius.
- Also important to the plot of the film is the 1986 song "Candy" by Cameo (from the group's Word Up! album). Likewise, "Candy" does not appear on the soundtrack album for the film.
- Although The Roots' "What You Want" plays over the opening credits, the lyrics are edited slightly. This is necessary because the version which appears on the soundtrack album contains a major plot spoiler.
Awards and nominations
- Best Actor (Theatrical)—Taye Diggs (nominated)
- Best Actress (Theatrical)—Nia Long (winner)
- Best Director (Theatrical)—Malcolm D. Lee (winner)
- Best Screenplay, Original or Adapted (Theatrical)—Malcolm D. Lee (winner)
- Best Supporting Actor (Theatrical)—Terrence Howard (nominated)
- Most Promising Actor—Terrence Howard (nominated)
- Best Supporting Male—Terrence Howard (nominated)
- Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture—Morris Chestnut (nominated)
- Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture—Taye Diggs (nominated)
- Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture—Monica Calhoun (nominated)
- Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture—Nia Long (winner)
- Outstanding Motion Picture (winner)
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture—Harold Perrineau (nominated)
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture—Terrence Howard (winner)
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture—Melissa De Sousa (nominated)
- Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture—Sanaa Lathan (nominated)
- "The Best Man (1999)". Box Office Mojo. 2002-08-28. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- Spike Lee (1999-10-22). "Allmovie Review". Allmovie.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- "The Best Man Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. 1999-10-22. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- "The Best Man". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- "The Best Man | Trailer and Cast - Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- Ruhlmann, William (1999-10-12). "The Best Man - Original Soundtrack : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
- The Best Man at AllMovie
- The Best Man at the Internet Movie Database
- The Best Man at Box Office Mojo
- The Best Man at Metacritic
- The Best Man at Rotten Tomatoes