the best man holidayAbout 14 years ago director Malcolm D. Lee had a hit (some would say it was a surprise) with his film The Best Man.  Now he has decided almost a decade and a half later to revisit those same characters that were loved and see where they are in their lives.  It is an interesting exercise to see the actors, who got their breaks with this film, to revisit these characters. As a word of warning, Lee (Undercover Brother, Scary Movie) hits the ground running so you have to know the characters from the previous film to get all that you can out of this film.

The subjects are your typical folks. Meaning that they are complex and yet somewhat predictable. This means that you can easily relate to their lives and what they are going through.  Lee goes over well worn topics such as love, relationships and fidelity, faith, forgiveness, and birth and death.

What makes the film work is the ensemble cast. Each wears their character like a comfortable jacket and brings all they can to them. Even the overly dramatic moments of the film are made more tolerable due to the honest performances by the actors.

Though we do dive into the story very quickly it does feel like too long a film than it needed to be.  In other words, in parts it drags.  At least two times I thought the film was ending only to have it go on for another fifteen minutes. What does work is a nice mixture of laughs and drama. It has that old fashioned holiday film feel to it that is rather enjoyable. Much more faith based a film than the original but filled with heartwarming moments with likable characters so everything comes out in the wash. The Best Man Holiday ends with a definite set up for another sequel. I wonder if it will take another 14 years and will it be The Best Man Middle Age?

Despite the fact from the outside it looks like she has a life that any woman would envy, Mia (Monica Calhoun – The Salon, Love & Basketball) misses her old life.  She is married to a former New York Giants running back, Lance (Morris Chestnut – The Call, Kick Ass 2), they have four kids and live in a mansion in the burbs.  Wanting to reconnect with her old friends she decides to invite them over for the holidays.

Though they all show up they are all not enthused.  A pregnant Robyn (Sanaa Lathan – Blade, AVP: Alien vs Predator) is worried about her best-selling author husband Harper (Taye Diggs – from television’s Private Practice), who is now going through a down period in regards to the commercial success of his novels, hooking up with his ex Jordan (Nia Long – Big Momma’s House, Premonition). Julian (Harold Perrineau – Zero Dark Thirty, 28 Weeks Later) is the target and both Candace (Regina Hall – Scary Movie, Law Abiding Citizen) and Shelby (Melissa De Sousa – Miss Congeniality) are the hunters.

All this drama leads to a Christmas party that could not have been predicted.