The Best Man Holiday Blu-ray Review
Some sequels you just don’t want to see. You thought the first movie was enough to satisfy or maybe the movie wasn’t good enough to warrant a sequel. Other movies demand a sequel. You want to spend more time with the characters and maybe catch up with their lives. THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY definitely falls in the latter category. This was a welcome return for the many characters that we fell in love with, laughed with or just plain hated in The Best Man.
Almost 15 years have passed. Harper’s (Taye Diggs) book that was a main plot point in the first film turned out to be a runaway bestseller. He is now married to Robyn (Sanaa Lathan). Robyn is an accomplished chef expecting their first child at any moment. Lance (Morris Chestnut) is coming to the end of his career as a running back in the NFL and he is closing in on the all-time rushing record. He’s still married to Mia (Monica Calhoun), who has invited all their friends over to their house for Christmas. They have four kids running around their big house.
Murch (Harold Perrineau) and Candace (Regina Hall) are married with two kids. They run a charter school together. Quentin (Terrence Howard) runs a successful management company and hobnobs with famous people like Quincy Jones and the Dalai Lama. Jordan (Nia Long) is a programming executive, while Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) is part of the cast of The Real Housewives of Westchester with one child in tow and a nanny to boot. Her narcissistic ways are clearly defined here.
There is real tension involved when these characters converge for the holidays. Lance is still sore with Harper about his book and the revelation that Harper had an affair with Mia. Shelby is not over being dumped by Murch for the former stripper Candy. Robyn doesn’t trust Jordan around Harper because she made a play for him in the past. Quentin of course loves to stir things up with his profane one-liners that are so welcome in this feature.
Along with the tension, several of the characters are going through some serious issues. Murch lost his biggest donor when he discovered a lewd video with Candace in it when she was a stripper. Harper hasn’t had a bestseller in years and his agent wants him to pursue a biography on Lance. Robin is experiencing a difficult pregnancy and she’s had a miscarriage in the past. Mia is carrying the biggest secret that will rock all the friends.
Writer/Director/Producer Malcolm D. Lee does a deft job of juggling so many storylines. The first half of the film is a pure delight. There is a lot of humor mined with these friends sharing laughs and stories. Harper delicately tries to gain information from Lance about his life. Shelby makes it a point to needle Candace whenever possible. This leads to a confrontation which is wild in its execution and reality. That isn’t the only confrontation on hand as things get a tad messy. Lance’s discovery of Harper’s deceit of pursuing a biography without his knowledge was too convenient for my tastes. It did lead to some nice acting from Diggs and Chestnut, while they work out their problems. The football scenes also weren’t the greatest. Lee seemed to imply that screen passes were running plays when they are passing plays. The payoff was nice, but predictable.
The movie takes a wild turn toward somberness in the second half that nearly derails it. It is jarring to say the least. Quentin helps in this regard with his unique way of looking at things. THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY wins you over with its heart. There is a nice sentiment toward forgiveness and friendship that permeates the screenplay. Lee also does a nice job of incorporating religion without pandering or looking down on it.
THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY is a warm movie that will affect you in many ways. I wouldn’t mind spending another movie with them.
THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: Toronto looks good on screen and comes through nicely on Blu-ray.
Audio: The sound is clear and concise.
Alternate Ending (1:39): You can watch this with or without commentary from the director. There is a slight change to who opens the box with the book in it and how the genesis of the book was discovered. The director made a wise move in going with the other ending.
Deleted/Extended Scenes (25:12): There are 19 scenes in all. You can also watch this with commentary from the director. Many of the scenes just add to the story and fill in the blanks. There are more scenes indicating the tension between Shelby and Candace and Jordan and Robyn.
Gag Reel (4:53): This is mostly dancing, laughing and just goofing off. Of course you have to have some flubbed lines. Terrence Howard is the big star in this feature.
Holiday Reunion: The Making of The Best Man Holiday (12:14): There is a real joy in the return of the actors and the director. The actors throw accolades toward Lee and his vision. Lee explains why he wanted to return to this story.
Smack Talk: Filming the Girl Fight Scene (4:09): Fun feature detailing the fight scene between Candace and Shelby. The actors talk as their characters about what led to this.
Feature Commentary with Writer/Director/Producer Malcolm D. Lee: This is an informative commentary from Lee. He talks of how scenes are written and the particulars of the movie.