It's that time of the year again where we gather with loved ones, exchange gifts, and indulge in heartwarming holiday films. And if there's one movie that has captured the essence of both the festive season and the bonds of friendship, it's none other than "The Best Man Holiday." This delightful cinematic gem takes us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as we dive into the lives of our favorite characters and witness their highs and lows during this joyous time. With an incredible ensemble cast, seamless production, and an unforgettable soundtrack, this film has garnered immense reception from critics and audiences alike. As we delve into the plot, cast, production, reception, soundtrack, and even the prospects of a sequel, get ready to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit like never before. So, grab your favorite blanket, cozy up by the fire, and let's explore all that "The Best Man Holiday" has to offer.
Mia Sullivan, Lance's spouse, has invited the former gang to celebrate Christmas together. The group includes Harper Stewart and his pregnant wife Robyn, Julian "Murch" Murchison and his wife Candace Sparks, Mia's best friend Jordan Armstrong and her boyfriend Brian McDonald, Quentin "Q" Spivey, and Shelby Taylor.
Shelby is now a well-known reality television star on the popular TV show franchise "The Real Housewives." Q is a successful brand manager with close ties to prominent celebrities.
Harper, who had previously experienced writer's block and financial troubles after being dismissed from NYU, is approached by his agent to write a biography about his former best friend Lance, who is about to retire from football. Despite their strained relationship, Harper reluctantly agrees to write the biography in secret.
Julian and Candace now have two daughters and Julian runs a prestigious school where Candace serves as the head of admissions. However, when their main donor discovers Candace's past as a stripper, he withdraws his funding from the school. Julian later finds a YouTube video of Candace stripping at a fraternity party, which he shows to Q.
As the group gathers for the first time in 14 years, old tensions resurface during dinner. Brian leaves to attend his family's annual Christmas gathering in Vermont, and Jordan tells him that she loves him but doesn't need him. He responds by saying, "Everybody needs somebody."
One evening, the group has a fun time dancing and lip-syncing to "Can You Stand the Rain," which helps mend the relationship between Lance and Harper. Another night, Harper discovers Mia downstairs vomiting blood and learns about her terminal cancer diagnosis. Mia asks Harper to help Lance accept her condition.
During breakfast the next morning, Q and Shelby accidentally switch phones, and Shelby discovers Candace's video. She attempts to rekindle her relationship with Julian, but he refuses. Later, Candace confronts Shelby, leading to a physical altercation. Candace initially leaves with the children but eventually returns and reconciles with Julian.
As the ladies prepare for a spa day, Mia collapses. Harper informs everyone about her condition, and they all offer their support.
While Harper is wrapping Christmas gifts for the children, Lance discovers Harper's iPad and journal in Mia's purse, along with a mock book cover for his unauthorized biography. Lance confronts Harper in anger and tells him to stay away from him and his family. Mia tries to intervene but fails. Lance takes her home, leaving Q and Harper behind. Harper finally breaks down and confesses his financial troubles. Q reassures him and vows to help with his debts as a favor.
Lance remains resentful about the biography, but Mia challenges him to face reality. She reveals her past fling with Harper from The Best Man, explaining that she did it intentionally to hurt Lance. Mia then removes her wig, forcing Lance to confront the severity of her condition.
On Christmas Day, Lance has an important game. Brian returns and apologizes to Jordan. Inspired by a call from Mia, Lance breaks the all-time rushing record. The men rush home to Mia, who eventually succumbs to her illness.
During the memorial service, Harper delivers a heartfelt eulogy. Lance expresses his gratitude to Harper, affirming that he will always be the better man. The group reconciles, and Q and Shelby confront their incompatibility. Shelby gives Julian $2 million to cover the lost funding for the school, with no strings attached. Later, Jordan's boyfriend Brian promises to help through his connections.
Robyn's water breaks, and Lance, Harper, and Candace attempt to drive her to the hospital but get stuck in traffic. Lance ends up delivering Harper's baby girl in the backseat of their SUV, naming her Mia in honor of their late friend.
Ten months later, Harper and Lance have grown closer, and Harper has completed Lance's biography, titled "God, Family, and Football." When Lance visits Harper and Robyn in NYC, Q calls to announce his upcoming wedding and jokes about Harper not sleeping 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
- Miles J Stroter as Lonnie
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. Terrence Howard revealed details about the film in March 2013, stating that it would be an amazing film with elements of tragedy. He praised director and screenwriter Malcolm Lee for showcasing the capabilities of intelligent young Black individuals in the first film and mentioned that the sequel would explore the choices individuals make and the importance of community support. Principal photography began in April 2013 in Toronto, Ontario.
The Best Man Holiday debuted with a Friday total of $10.7 million, surpassing Thor: The Dark World for the top spot at the box office that day. It earned $12.4 million on Saturday, becoming the number two film of the weekend and grossing close to $30.6 million overall. In the United States, it earned a total of .5 million and .8 million worldwide.
As of October 2021[update], the film holds a 70% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 97 reviews with an average rating of 6/10. The site's critical consensus states that The Best Man Holiday manages to find laughs and drama in a conventional plot. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 59 out of 100, indicating mixed or average reviews based on 30 critics. Audiences gave the film an "A " grade according to CinemaScore. The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday praised the film as a mixture of comedy and tearjerker moments, highlighting the continued melodrama and the crude yet impactful one-liners delivered by Terrence Howard.
The film's soundtrack features songs by R. Kelly, Jordin Sparks, Mary J. Blige, Monica, Ne-Yo, Marsha Ambrosius, John Legend, Emeli Sandé, and more.
Peacock has ordered a limited series follow-up to The Best Man, titled The Best Man: The Final Chapters. The series consists of ten episodes and is created by Malcolm Lee and Dayna Lynne North, who also serve as executive producers. The original cast, including Chestnut, Diggs, Hall, Howard, Lathan, Long, Perrineau, and De Sousa, will reprise their roles. The series premiered on December 22, 2022.
- List of black films of the 2010s
- List of Christmas films
In conclusion, The Best Man Holiday has proven to be an exceptional film that not only delivers a heartwarming plot but is also brought to life by a remarkable cast and impressive production quality. The positive reception from both critics and audiences further solidifies its status as a must-watch holiday film. With a soundtrack that perfectly captures the emotions of the story, The Best Man Holiday leaves viewers with a sense of nostalgia and warmth long after the credits roll. As we eagerly anticipate a possible sequel, it is clear that this film has left an indelible mark on the hearts of moviegoers everywhere. So grab some popcorn, gather your loved ones, and let The Best Man Holiday take you on a joyous and unforgettable cinematic journey.