|The Best Man Holiday|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Malcolm D. Lee|
|Produced by||Malcolm D. Lee|
|Written by||Malcolm D. Lee|
by Malcolm D. Lee
|Music by||Stanley Clarke|
|Edited by||Paul Millspaugh|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$71.6 million|
The Best Man Holiday is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written, co-produced and directed by Malcolm D. Lee. A sequel to Lee's The Best Man (1999), it stars Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau, Monica Calhoun, and Melissa De Sousa, all reprising their roles from the previous film. Along with Lee, the film was produced by Sean Daniel.
The Best Man Holiday was released on November 15, 2013 by Universal Pictures. It received positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances of the cast, Lee's direction and the dramatic elements, with some criticism aimed at the screenplay. It was a commercial success, grossing $71 million worldwide on a production budget of $17 million.
The film received multiple accolades and nominations, including being nominated four times at the 45th NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Chestnut and Howard) and Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Lee).
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Mia Sullivan (Monica Calhoun), wife of Lance Sullivan (Morris Chestnut), has sent letters requesting that the old gang joins them for Christmas: Harper Stewart (Taye Diggs) and his almost-ready pregnant wife Robyn (Sanaa Lathan), Julian "Murch" Murchison (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).
Shelby is living the dreamed life as a cast member of a popular The Real Housewives television show franchise, and is now a prominent reality television star. Q is now a successful brand manager and heavily connected to prominent celebrities.
Years after his debut novel, Harper is struggling with writer's block and financial difficulties, having been recently relieved of his faculty position at New York University, this compounded to his wife having difficulty conceiving. Harper's agent suggests that Harper writes a biography on his estranged best friend, Lance, who is set to retire from football. Though Harper and Lance are on good enough terms to maintain an acquaintanceship, Lance makes an appoint to keep an emotional distance. Harper reluctantly agrees to the biography, but keeps the idea a secret.
The Murch family now includes two little daughters and Julian finally opened and runs a renowned school, with his wife former stripper, Candace, as his head of admissions. His main donor, however, abruptly terminates his relationship with the school when he learns of Candace's past. It is then that Julian finds a YouTube video of his wife stripping and accepting money for sex at a fraternity party. Julian confides in Quentin.
All the friends arrive at the house, the first time they've come together in 14 years. At dinner times in the movie the old friends catch up but old tensions resurface and grow.
Among other things, on another night the band has a good after-dinner time with the men dance and lip-sync to "Can You Stand the Rain" which Mia notes works well to patching up old wounds between Lance and Harper.
It is when Harper goes down to the kitchen that he finds Mia throwing up blood. Mia reveals to Harper that she was diagnosed with cancer more than a year ago and it's terminal but that she needs Harper's help to guide Lance coming to terms with it.
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 Julian to resume his previous relationship with her but Julian rebuffs her advances. Not long afterwards, Candace loses patience with Shelby and confronts her, which leads to a physical altercation after which Candace leaves the house with her and Julian's daughters. Later Candace returns and reconcile with Julian through dialogue.
The ladies are preparing for a spa day when Mia collapses while trying to hang a Christmas ornament. The instance forces Harper to tell the rest of the friends about Mia's illness; the friends are supportive.
While Harper is wrapping the children’s gifts, Lance approaches him and the two reminisce about their college days and seem to overcome their differences. The next day, the gang volunteer at a shelter, with Q as a grudging Santa Claus. But Lance soon 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, 'forever this time'. Mia unsuccessfully tries to calm Lance down. He takes Mia home, leaving Q and Harper behind where Harper finally breaks down and admits the truth of his financial situation. After giving humble words of comfort to Harper, Q vows to take care of his debts as a friendly favor.
Lance is still heated over the biography when Mia challenges Lance to acknowledge the truth. She is to blame equally with Harper for the longtime feud between the two men by virtue of her having been in full knowledge of the pain her affair with Harper (see The Best Man) would incur on Lance. Mia then takes off her wig, forcing Lance to also acknowledge the severity of her condition.
Christmas Day is also Lance's big game. Brian returns, affording Jordan an apology. 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. The men then rush home to Mia who not long after dies.
At the funeral service, Harper delivers a heartfelt eulogy confounded as to why God would take a human away to heaven on the same day he gave his Son to the earth. Lance later thanks his friend and in the conversation affirms, 'But God is always there when we need him.' Harper is encouraged: 'That is why you will always be the better man, Lance.'
All are shown to reconcile and Q and Shelby come to terms with their romantic incompatibility. Shelby gives Julian a check for two million dollars, covering the funding gap created by the donor pull-out with no special favors in return. Later Brian, Jordan's boyfriend, promises to assist by some investors he knows personally.
Robyn's water suddenly breaks. Lance, Harper, and Candace try to rush her to the hospital but they get stuck in traffic; it is thus Lance who delivers Harper's baby in the backseat of the SUV. The healthy baby girl is named Mia.
Ten months later, Harper and Lance are closer than ever and Harper has now written Lance's biography. When Lance visits Harper and Robyn at their house in New York City, Harper gets a phone call from Q wherein Q announces his anticipated marriage but immediately warns Harper that he better not have had slept with his bride.
- Taye Diggs as Harper Stewart
- Sanaa Lathan as Robyn Stewart
- Nia Long as Jordan Armstrong
- Morris Chestnut as Lance Sullivan
- Harold Perrineau as Julian "Murch" Murchison
- Terrence Howard as Quentin "Q" Spivey
- Monica Calhoun as Mia Sullivan
- Melissa De Sousa as Shelby Taylor
- Regina Hall as Candace "Candy" Sparks
- Eddie Cibrian as Brian McDonald
- John Michael Higgins as Stan
- Isis Moore as Kennedy
- Riele Downs as Faith Sullivan
- Millie Davis as Hope
- Catherine Bruhier as Dr. Perkins
- Chris Williams as Dr. Nelson (voice)
- Shailyn Pierre-Dixon as Kelly
- Shailene Garnett as Jordan's Assistant
In October 2011, it was announced that a sequel to the 1999 film The Best Man was in development. On February 22, 2013, it was announced that the film would be titled The Best Man Holiday. In March 2013, Terrence Howard who plays Quentin Spivey in the film revealed details about the film, 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 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." Principal photography began in April 2013 in Toronto, Canada.
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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. The Best Man Holiday did even better the next day earning $12.4 million on Saturday. It then went on to be the number two film of the weekend, taking in close to $30.6 million.
As of June 2020[update], the film holds a 71% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 94 reviews with an average rating of 6.01 out of 10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Best Man Holiday manages honest laughs out of broad humor, and affects convincing drama from a deeply conventional plot." Metacritic gives the film a score of 59 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indictating "mixed or average reviews". CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film a rare "A+" grade.
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".
|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|
|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 Monica Calhoun||2:26|
|13.||"As"||Marsha Ambrosius & Anthony Hamilton||5:31|
Awards and nominations
- Best Ensemble Cast (winner)
- Best Actress—Nia Long (winner)
- Best Supporting Actor—Terrence Howard (winner)
- Best Actor—Morris Chestnut (nominated)
- Movie of the Year—Malcolm D. Lee and Sean Daniel (nominated)
- Best Screenplay—Malcolm D. Lee (nominated)
- Best Supporting Actress—Sanaa Lathan (nominated)
- Best Director—Malcolm D. Lee (nominated)
- Best Movie (nominated)
- Outstanding Actress, Motion Picture—Nia Long (nominated)
- Outstanding Director, Motion Picture—Malcolm D. Lee (nominated)
- Outstanding Screenplay (Adapted or Original), Motion Picture—Malcolm D. Lee (nominated)
- Outstanding Ensemble—Julie Hutchinson (nominated)
- Outstanding Score—Stanley Clarke (nominated)
- Outstanding Motion Picture (nominated)
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture—Morris Chestnut (nominated)
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture—Terrence Howard (nominated)
- Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture—Malcolm D. Lee (nominated)
On July 22, 2014, Universal Pictures announced that a third film in the series, The Best Man Wedding, was to be produced. The film would again be written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee and was scheduled to be released on April 15, 2016. With Warner Bros. Barbershop: The Next Cut, another Malcolm D. Lee directed film, being scheduled for release on the same day and scheduling conflicts with The Best Man's ensemble cast, Universal Pictures moved back The Best Man Wedding release to sometime in 2017. In April 2016, the film was put on hold indefinitely.
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