Review: ‘The Best Man Holiday’ Offers a Thoughtful Reunion, But is Emotionally Taxing
The 1999 surprise hit, The Best Man, became everything audiences wanted in a film. It launched several of its cast members into the stratosphere, and jumpstarted a flood of equally classic African American rom-coms. But how does the sequel fare almost 15 years later?
Writer-director Malcolm D. Lee has some explaining to do. He knew that audiences couldn’t wait to see another installment of his popular Best Man film, and eagerly anticipated that day with baited breath. Sadly, too much time has passed since then and audiences were left wondering whatever happened to that crew of college friends we’ve grown to love and admire.
When word bubbled that Lee was putting the gang back together, it signaled a revival of sorts, a return to the roots of what made audiences appreciate films like Love & Basketball, How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Love Jones. Thankfully, it wasn’t all a ruse, and we were treated to a cast dinner, which found Lee’s ensemble not only still looking good (“Black don’t crack.”), but involved cinematically within a year full of great works starring, profiling, and directed by black Hollywood talent. The Best Man Holiday caps off a film schedule full of interesting films such as 42, Fruitvale Station,Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and 12 Years a Slave. So, this sequel was a welcomed change from the regular “shoot-em-up,” drama-filled epics we’ve come to loathe over time. — Kevin L. Clark