The Best Man Holiday

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The Best Man Holiday
The Best Man Holiday.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee
Produced by Malcolm D. Lee
Sean Daniel
Written by Malcolm D. Lee
Starring
Music by Stanley Clarke
Cinematography Rogier Stoffers
Edited by Paulk Millspaugh
Production
company
Blackmaled Productions
Sean Daniel Company
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • November 15, 2013 (2013-11-15)
Running time 123 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $17 million[2]
Box office $71,625,195[2]

The Best Man Holiday is a 2013 American tragicomedy film written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee. It is the sequel to the 1999 film, The Best Man. The film was released on November 15, 2013 by Universal Pictures. It stars Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Harold Perrineau, Morris Chestnut, Monica Calhoun, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Melissa De Sousa and Regina Hall, reprising their roles from the 1999 film along with the supporting cast.[3]

Plot[edit]

Mia Sullivan (Monica Calhoun), wife of Lance Sullivan (Morris Chestnut), has written letters requesting the old gang's join them for Christmas: Harper Stewart (Taye Diggs) and his almost-nine-month-pregnant wife Robin (Sanaa Lathan), Julian Murch (Harold Perrineau and wife Candace Sparks Regina Hall), her best friend Jordan Armstrong (Nia Long) and boyfriend Brian McDonald (Eddie Cibrian), Quentin "Q" Spivey (Terrence Howard), and Shelby Taylor (Melissa De Sousa). All of the friends arrive at the house, the first time they've come together in 14 years, and the celebration begins. At dinner, the old friends catch up with each other while tensions grow between Shelby and Candace.

Years after Harper's debut novel, he is struggling with writer's block, financial difficulties, and pressure from his publisher to come up with newer and better material for his next book. He has also been recently relieved of his faculty position at New York University, further complicating the couple's financial position. He had kept all this from Robin, as she is finally pregnant with their first child after years of expensive fertility treatments and because the baby, at almost full-term, is in breech presentation. His agent suggests he write a biography on his estranged friend, Lance, who is set to retire from football; he argues that Harper exploit their friendship because Lance's recent decision to retire is timed perfectly for Harper to end his troubles. Harper reluctantly agrees and keeps the biography a secret. On the other hand, the Murch family (which now includes two daughters) seems to be doing well, Jullian having opened the school that he has worked hard to establish, with his wife, former stripper Candace (who has kept her maiden name) as his head of admissions. His main donor, however, abruptly ends his relationship with the school and Jullian: he has been made aware of Candace's past and we'll not risk his reputation as a man of high morals. It is then that Jullian finds a YouTube video of his wife stripping and accepting money for sex at a fraternity party. He confides in Q and shows him part of the video. Shelby is living the life she has always dreamed of: as a cast member of a popular The Real Housewives television show franchise, she is now a prominent and notorious reality television star and part of the social elite. Robin is still insecure with regards to Harper and Jordan's friendship. Q is now a successful brand manager and heavily connected to prominent celebrities.

After arriving at the Sullivan's, Harper notices Mia's dramatic weight loss but brushes it off and focuses on the reunion and on gathering information about Lance for the autobiography.

The next day, Brian says goodbye to Jordan and leaves for his family's annual Christmas gathering in Vermont. As he leaves, Jordan tells him that, while she loves him, she does not need him. Harper, Q, and Murch go to the grocery store while Lance is at a team meeting and Harper's credit card is declined. Q shows concern, but Harper denies having money problems. After dinner that night, the men dance and lip-sync to "Can You Stand the Rain" for the ladies to great response. All of the couples in the house have sex that night, while Q sends risque photographs of himself to Shelby. Harper goes down to the kitchen, where he and Jordan make some small talk, and Jordan says she knows that Harper is writing Lance's biography.

As Harper heads back to bed, he finds Mia throwing up blood. Mia reveals to Harper that she was diagnosed with cancer more than a year ago and is dying. After Lance walks in on the two talking, Mia explains to Lance that Harper knows. They both ask Harper to keep the condition a secret. At breakfast the next morning, Q and Shelby accidentally switch phones and Shelby finds the Candace video on Q's phone. She tries to use it to coerce Jullian to resume his previous relationship with her, but Jullian rebuffs her advances. Not long afterwards, Candace loses patience with Shelby and confronts her, which leads to a physical altercation between the two in front of Shelby's daughter, after which Candace leaves the house with Jullian's and her daughters. Lance drives the men to his football practice, with Murch and Q starting a fight in the backseat, but Harper intervenes to before it degenerates further. While at the practice, Q cynically explains to Murch that such a video comes with marrying a stripper.

Back at the house the ladies are preparing for a spa day when Mia collapses while trying to hang a Christmas ornament. Robin and Jordan text Harper for Lance and the men to quickly return to the house, forcing Harper to tell the rest of the friends about Mia's illness. As they leave, the friends all embrace Lance.

Back at the house, everyone spends time with Mia. While Harper is wrapping gifts, Lance approaches him and the two reminisce about their college days and seem to overcome their past differences. The next day, the gang volunteer at a shelter, with Q as a grudging Santa Claus. Harper and Lance seem to be as close as they were in the old days. Afterwards, Lance stumbles across Harper's iPad and journal in Mia's purse, and a mock book cover for his unauthorized biography on the tablet. Lance angrily confronts Harper and tells him to stay away from him and his family. Mia tries to calm Lance down to no avail. He takes Mia home, leaving Q and Harper the last two to leave the shelter. The two talk and Harper finally breaks down and admits the truth of his situation.

Back at the Sullivans', Lance is still heated over the biography when Mia confronts him. Mia challenges Lame to acknowledge the truth: she is to blame just as much as Harper is for the longtime feud between the two men. She reveals that she slept with Harper (see The Best Man) even though she knew how much it would hurt Lance because she was sick of Lance cheating on her. Mia then takes off her wig, forcing Lance to also acknowledge the severity of her condition. Outside, meanwhile, Robin is going through some of Mia’s old baby things when Candace returns with the kids. Candace tells Jullian that she regrets that one time she ever gave "extra favors" to a client and they reconcile. The household gathers around the fireplace to listen to the children sing Christmas carols. Harper and Q return, with Harper reconciles with Robin (who had witnessed an intimate moment between Harper and Jordan that weekend).

The next day is Christmas and Lance's big game. Brian returns to be with Jordan and the two also reconcile. The women watch the game together as a family in Mia and Lance's bedroom, while the men go to the game. At the game, Lance starts a troublesome first half. Mia calls Harper to speak to Lance, inspiring him to ultimately break the all-time rushing record in a game-winning performance. After the game, the men rush home (courtesy of a police escort) in order for Lance to say goodbye to Mia before she dies.

At the funeral service, everyone but Lance is emotional. Shelby gives Jullian a check for two million dollars, covering the funding gap created by the donor pull-out. All she asks for in return is a play date for their children. Inside the church, Harper gives a very heartfelt eulogy. It isn't until after everyone leaves as Mia's casket is lowered into the grave that Lance finally breaks down. Harper witnesses this from a distance and rushed to Lance's aid, comforting him. Back at the house, everyone seems to have reconciled with one another after realizing what's really important in life. Outside, Harper and Lance make up and renew their friendship–concluding a 14+-year feud. Q and Shelby are shown in bed, with Q suggesting before rolling out of bed that they may have a love connection. Meanwhile, Brian tells Murch that he knows some investors who can help with the school's funding. Robin's water suddenly breaks, so Lance, Harper, and Candace try to rush her to the hospital; however, they get stuck in traffic and Lance delivers the baby in the backseat of his SUV. Robin delivers a healthy baby girl names her Mia in honor of their deceased friend.

Ten months later, Harper and Lance are closer than ever and Harper has written Lance's autobiography. It is also apparent that Lance is the baby's godfather as he visits Harper and Robin at their house in New York. Harper gets a phone call from Q and puts it on speakerphone to share the call with Lance. Q reveals to both of them that he is getting married and wants Harper to be his best man, but not before telling Harper that he better not have had sex with his soon-to-be bride.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In October 2011, it was announced that a sequel to the 1999 film The Best Man was in development.[4] On February 22, 2013, it was announced that the film would be titled The Best Man Holiday.[5] In March 2013, Terrence Howard who plays Quentin Spivey in the film revealed details about the film,[6] saying: "I think it's going to be amazing film and I get teary-eyed thinking about it because there's some tragedy in it. That's all I'll say…[Director and screenwriter] Malcolm Lee showed us what intelligent young black people were capable of in the The Best Man I, but The Best Man II, it shows where people go, whether they're doing the right thing or the wrong thing, and how much we need each other within our community."[7] Principal photography and production began in April 2013.[8]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The Best Man Holiday debuted with a $10.7 million Friday total, notably beating Thor: The Dark World for the top box office spot of that day.[9] The Best Man Holiday did even better the next day earning $12.4 million on Saturday.[10] It then went on to be the number two film of the weekend, taking in close to $30.6 million.[11]

Critical response[edit]

The film has received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 68%, based on 84 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's consensus states, "The Best Man Holiday manages honest laughs out of broad humor, and affects convincing drama from a deeply conventional plot."[citation needed] Metacritic gives the film a score of 59 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indictating "mixed or average reviews".[12]

The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday gave it 2.5 stars, saying the "[s]equel is both a romp and a tearjerker... Like a long-lost soap opera emerging from a Rip Van Winkle–length hiatus, 'The Best Man Holiday' has lost none of its often baggy, saggy melodrama; luckily, when things get too soppy, Howard can be depended on for crude one-liners that land with all the more finesse thanks to his smoky, slightly stoned delivery. …And 'The Best Man Holiday' has clearly caught up with the times, with one plot point revolving around social media run amok, off-handedly invoking everyone from Barack Obama (natch) to Melissa Harris-Perry, Olivia Pope and Robin Thicke".[13]

Soundtrack[edit]

The film's soundtrack includes songs by R. Kelly, Jordin Sparks, Mary J. Blige, Monica, Ne-Yo, Marsha Ambrosius, John Legend, Emeli Sandé, and more.[14]

Track listing
No. Title Performers Length
1. "Christmas Time to Me"   Jordin Sparks 2:53
2. "Someday at Christmas"   Mario 3:02
3. "What Christmas Means to Me"   Fantasia 2:24
4. "I Still Have You"   Charlie Wilson 4:07
5. "Christmas I'll Be Steppin'"   R. Kelly 5:26
6. "This Christmas"   Mary J. Blige 3:18
7. "Shelter"   John Legend 2:54
8. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"   Monica 2:45
9. "Winter Wonderland"   Emeli Sandé 2:21
10. "Can You Stand the Rain"   New Edition 4:54
11. "I Want to Come Home for Christmas"   Ne-Yo 3:44
12. "O Holy Night"   Jayda Brown & Jasmine Watkins 2:26
13. "As"   Marsha Ambrosius & Anthony Hamilton 5:31

Sequel[edit]

On July 22, 2014, Universal Pictures announced that a third film in the series, The Best Man Wedding, will be produced. The film will again be written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee and is schedule to be released on April 15, 2016.[15][16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY (15)". Universal Studios. British Board of Film Classification. November 15, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "The Best Man Holiday". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved November 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ "ET First: 'The Best Man Holiday' Set Visit". ETonline.com. 2013-04-29. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  4. ^ Essence.com
  5. ^ "'Best Man' Sequel Now Titled 'The Best Man Holiday' | Shadow and Act". Blogs.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  6. ^ "Terrence Howard Reveals Details On 'The Best Man Holiday': Notable/Quotable". Huffington Post. March 12, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ Monday (2013-03-11). "Terrence Howard Reveals Plot Secrets in "The Best Man" Sequel - Entertainment News - ABC News Radio". Abcnewsradioonline.com. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  8. ^ Apr 9, 2013 (2013-04-09). "Terrence Howard Starts Filming ‘The Best Man Holiday’ With Taye Diggs & Harold Perrineau (PHOTOS)". Global Grind. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  9. ^ Mendelson, Scott (November 16, 2013). "Friday Box Office: 'Best Man Holiday' Steals Thor's Thunder". Forbes. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Box Office: How Did 'The Best Man Holiday' Open So Big?" AOL Moviefone. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
  11. ^ Bowles, Scott (November 17, 2013). "'Best Man Holiday' nearly beats mighty 'Thor'". USA Today. Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Best Man Holiday". Metacritic. CBS Ineractive. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ Hornaday, Ann (November 13, 2013). "'The Best Man Holiday' movie review: Sequel is both a romp and a shameless tearjerker". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Stream ‘The Best Man Holiday’ Soundtrack Featuring R. Kelly, Monica, Mario, & Fantasia". Rap-Up. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  15. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike (November 18, 2013). "Universal, Malcolm D. Lee In Talks To Make ‘The Best Man Holiday’ Sequel After Monster Opening". Deadline.com. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  16. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/best-man-wedding-coming-2016-720503
  17. ^ http://www.vibe.com/article/best-man-wedding-already-has-2016-release-date

External links[edit]