The Best Man Holiday Movie Review
The Best Man Holiday is a funny, entertaining comedy... until it becomes a depressing and an advertisement for faith and Christianity. Nevertheless, it's fun to see Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan and the rest back together again.
A whopping fourteen years after The Best Man, Harper (Diggs) is no longer the bestselling author he once was while his former best friend (Chestnut), who still holds a grudge for some silly reason like Harper screwing his wife (Monica Calhoun), is a successful football player on the verge of breaking the single-season rushing record. Circumstances I won't bother explaining in this review bring them and their friends back together.
The Best Man Holiday caters well to its target audience (African-Americans), mixing in all the right ingredients. White people jokes. Black people jokes. Sex jokes. Stuff like that.
Oh, and a surprising dose of Christianity fluff that comes out of nowhere and is largely unnecessary, if not vomit-inducing.
The Best Man Holiday is good until it isn't, which is about the time the third act rolls around. A two-hour movie that could have been 20 minutes shorter and better for it, director Malcolm D. Lee takes a good thing and bogs it down with a series of depressing scenes that feel largely out of place in what is best described as a romantic comedy. The sad turn the movie takes adds some extra poignancy to the film, but Lee drags the depressing elements on far too long. The final act is drawn out for no particular reason, and worst he stuffs it with a bunch of discussion about faith and God that is completely absent from the first two-thirds of the movie.
It's a shame, because the rest of the movie is pretty entertaining and downright funny. The cast has great chemistry together and the screenplay keeps things light in spite of a variety of serious elements. The plot is pretty predictable, but that doesn't hold it back. And the movie definitely resonates with its target audience, based on the reactions of the largely black preview audience I watched it with.
The Best Man Holiday shouldn't be entirely disregarded due to its third act, but the third act is a major misfire that limits its potential. The movie is funny and entertaining, but a little too much of a downer at times to be anything more than a passing fancy.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.