In the city of Chicago, Harper Stewart is a promising writer whose love life becomes increasingly complicated. The plot unfolds in "The Best Man," a 1999 romantic comedy film directed by Malcolm D. Lee. As Harper navigates his own commitment issues, he reunites with old friends for a wedding weekend filled with secrets, confrontations, and unexpected twists. With a talented cast and a captivating storyline, the film received positive reviews from critics and became a breakthrough for actor Terrence Howard. Its success led to a sequel, "The Best Man Holiday," and a recent limited series titled "The Best Man: The Final Chapters.


In the city of Chicago, Harper Stewart is a promising writer who has gained recognition for his first novel, Unfinished Business, which has been chosen by Oprah's Book Club. However, his girlfriend Robyn is unhappy with his reluctance to commit to their relationship.

Harper decides to visit New York City to spend the weekend with his old college friends before attending the wedding of Lance Sullivan, a professional football player for the New York Giants, and Mia Morgan. Harper reunites with his friends Julian "Murch" Murchison and Jordan Armstrong, who have shared his book with their inner circle.

Harper's friends disapprove of Murch's controlling girlfriend Shelby, and Harper criticizes Quentin Spivey for his inability to settle into a job. Throughout the weekend, Lance's behavior changes, Quentin reveals his free-spirited nature, Harper contemplates his bachelorhood, and Murch struggles to keep a secret. Flashbacks to their college days reveal the complicated history between them.

As tensions rise, Harper worries that Lance will discover his past with Mia, even though Lance believes that she has never been with another man. Harper has a confrontation with Jordan, who admits her attraction to him and wants to have a sexual encounter before Robyn arrives for the wedding. Lance confronts Harper in the bathroom but thanks him for their friendship before anything can be revealed. Meanwhile, Murch finally stands up to Shelby.

At the bachelor party, Harper steals Lance's copy of his own book, which Quentin realizes contains a secret. As the party continues, Murch becomes infatuated with a stripper named Candy, and Harper agrees to meet Jordan later. Lance discovers the truth by reading the book and becomes furious, confronting Harper and nearly putting him in danger. However, Quentin manages to calm Lance down, and Lance decides to call off the wedding.

Harper, beaten and bruised, seeks refuge at Jordan's apartment. He initially blames her for spreading his secrets but soon realizes his own faults. The next day, Harper meets Robyn at the airport and confesses everything to her. Disappointed, Robyn prepares to leave, but Harper pleads for her help and expresses his need for her. Reluctantly, Robyn agrees to help save the wedding.

At the church, Murch breaks up with Shelby, and Harper's friends desperately try to prevent Lance from canceling the wedding. Harper manages to convince Lance, despite their differing religious beliefs, by asking him to pray. As the events unfold, Harper reaffirms Lance's love for Mia, and the wedding proceeds.

During the reception, Shelby aggressively catches the bouquet, while Quentin catches the garter. Jordan tells Harper that Robyn is the right woman for him, and Harper thanks Robyn publicly and proposes to her in front of everyone. She happily accepts, and the celebration continues with everyone dancing to the song "Candy" by Cameo, performing the electric slide.

In a post-credit scene, Shelby and Quentin wake up in bed together, much to their surprise and disgust.


  • Taye Diggs as Harper Stewart
  • Nia Long as Jordan Armstrong
  • Morris Chestnut as Lance Sullivan
  • Harold Perrineau as Julian "Murch" Murchison
  • Terrence Howard as Quentin Spivey
  • Sanaa Lathan as Robyn
  • Melissa De Sousa as Shelby
  • Monica Calhoun as Mia Morgan
  • Jim Moody as Uncle Skeeter
  • Regina Hall as Candace "Candy" Sparks
  • Jarrod Bunch as Wayne
  • Victoria Dillard as Anita
  • Malcolm D. Lee as Emcee


The film received positive reviews from critics. AllMovie gave the film a 3 out of 5 stars rating, with reviewer Jason Clark stating that while the film has moments of humor, it doesn't offer anything new about troubled weddings or the experiences of African-Americans seeking love. The film also received a B average rating from users on Yahoo! Movies.

Terrence Howard's performance in particular was praised by film critics, and The Best Man is often credited as his breakthrough film. Jason Clark of AllMovie described Howard's performance as captivating and commanding.

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 72% positive rating based on reviews from 71 critics, with the consensus that the film is an intelligent and funny romantic comedy with a strong cast and well-defined characters. Metacritic gave the film a favorable rating of 61% from 30 critics.

Box Office

The film was produced with a budget of million and grossed over $34 million during its theatrical run.

Awards and Nominations

The Best Man received numerous awards and nominations. At the 2000 NAACP Image Awards, all eight principal cast members were nominated, with Terrence Howard and Nia Long winning awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress respectively. The film also won the award for Outstanding Motion Picture.

The film was nominated in several categories at other award ceremonies, including the Black Reel Awards, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, and Independent Spirit Awards.


The Best Man - Music From The Motion Picture is the soundtrack album for the film. It was released on October 12, 1999, and features hip hop and R&B music. The soundtrack peaked at number 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number 16 on the Billboard 200.

Track Listing

The soundtrack includes songs performed by various artists, including The Roots, Maxwell, Beyoncé, Eric Benét, Faith Evans, and Bob Marley. The album also includes the song "Candy" by Cameo, which is significant to the film's plot and is performed during the reception scene.


In 2013, a sequel to The Best Man titled The Best Man Holiday was released. The film reunited the original cast and received positive reviews.

In 2021, Peacock ordered a limited series follow-up titled The Best Man: The Final Chapters. The series consists of ten episodes and continues the story with the original cast reprising their roles. The series premiered on December 22, 2022.


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In conclusion, The Best Man is a captivating romantic comedy that has received praise from both critics and audiences. With its strong cast, well-defined characters, and intelligent storyline, the film offers a refreshing take on troubled weddings and the pursuit of love. Terrence Howard's breakthrough performance is particularly noteworthy, contributing to the film's success. The Best Man's soundtrack, featuring popular hip hop and R&B songs, adds to the overall enjoyment of the film. The success of The Best Man led to a sequel and a limited series follow-up, further immersing audiences in the lives of these beloved characters. Overall, The Best Man is a must-watch film that combines humor, romance, and relatable experiences in a truly entertaining way.