Southern Girl Movie Review: “The Best Man Holiday”

The first time I saw this movie I cried like a baby for about 5 minutes. (Yes, I saw it twice, and yes, the New Potential took me to see it the 2nd time. :)) As you know I had extremely high hopes for this film and was super excited to see it.  Now, I gave you all an extra week to see it.  So if you haven’t seen it, you might want to skip this post, because there are going to be spoilers galore.  I’m just forewarning you, so don’t be mad at me!  Now, I will say I was much more engrossed in the film when I saw it the first time, maybe because I knew what was going to happen the second time around.  So I’ll give you my perspective from my fresh eyes on opening night.

I definitely saw the growth of each character and even in the storyteller.  Malcom D. Lee did an amazing job writing this sequel.  Harper means well, but you truly see him for what he is-sneaky.  And it’s not that he means to be.  But because he’s not forthright with his actions and his intent, it comes off all wrong.  You almost feel bad for him.  But when you think about him keeping secrets (not telling Robin that he was fired from NYU, not asking Lance if he could write his biography), you realize that he kinda dug his own hole.  I’m happy to say Robin did not get on my nerves in this movie like she did in the original.  I love Sanaa Lathan, almost as much as I love Kerry Washington, but Robin was ANNOYING in “The Best Man”.  Anywho, I honestly don’t think her character had a lot of airtime, but the time she was in the film interacting with Harper, she made valid points.  And she made me laugh.

I will say that Lance’s anger towards Harper was valid-he slept with his girl and kept it a secret-but he wrote about it in his book.  But Lance forgot someone else that should have felt a little bit of his wrath-Mia.  IMHO, I think Lance didn’t address Mia’s guilty part of the whole thing because of his views on gender roles.  If you remember from the first movie, he didn’t want his wife to work; he just wanted her to stay home and have his babies (which Mia did-four of them, but we’ll talk about the babies later.)  My thinking is that if a man believes a woman should be submissive, it probably means that he doesn’t think she has a mind of her own and can think for herself.  Or maybe he just didn’t want to address that his good girl wasn’t so good.  My girl Mia had to be the strongest person in this whole movie.  I knew at the second dinner that she was sick.  I whispered to my homegirl, “She looks really skinny”.  Monica Calhoun did a bang up job in this film, and this was probably her best role to date…seriously.

Now, Jordan is going to always be Jordan.  She’s strong, she’s tenacious, she’s a go-getter, she’s every woman’s woman.  I enjoyed seeing her be vulnerable with Brian McDaniels, or whatever his name was.  Even though Eddie Cibrian may be a dog in real life, he is one fine man to look at.  I’m glad she finally found love.  But it’s sad that it took her best friend getting sick for her to realize that life isn’t all about work.

Murch was SO wrong for showing Quentin the video of Candy. He was also wrong for sharing it with the guys while they were playing pool (something I totally missed the first time).  He definitely should have addressed it with Candy BEFORE they went to Lance and Mia’s home.  And especially before crazy Shelby was able to find the tape.  Now I do not condone violence, but Shelby kinda deserved to get swung on.  But I am mad that the fighting and name calling and cursing took place in front of the babies.  That was a little outrageous and over the top.  And I SO felt bad for Shelby’s daughter Kennedy.  Shelby’s old mean self…Speaking of, I’m glad they explained why Shelby was there, because I was giving her the side eye.

Anywho, last certainly not least, my boy Quentin.  He always speaks the truth, no matter how crazy his message comes out.  But why do he and Shelby always have to end up in bed together??? It’s slightly nauseating.

Side-eye worthy moments: When Lance threw up the hook and said, “Frienship is Essential to the Soul”.  If you’re not a member of a BGLO (black Greek lettered organization), you may not understand. While names were not mentioned, it was pretty clear that Lance is a member of Omega Psi Phi and Mia (and by default Shelby) was a member of Delta Sigma Theta (Shout out to our centennial year!!!).  Morris Chestnut is a not an Omega; he’s a member a different fraternity.  And I’ll leave that there.  Also, the Sullivan children. LJ and Hope (the two oldest) look like they could actually be Lance and Mia’s children.  But the youngest two (August and Faith) look like the casting director said, “I’m finished.  Put whomever you want in those roles” because those children look NOTHING like their fictional parents.  And I know it’s a movie, but sheesh.

The moments I cried: When Harper caught Mia coughing.  When Jordan cried.  When Mia sang with the girls.  When Marsha Ambrosius and Anthony Hamilton sang “As”.  When Lance broke down at the gravesite.

So, yes, this was mighty lengthy, but I had a lot to say about this film.  I give this a 9.5 out of 10.  And as I said in a previous post, there does not need to be a Part 3.

What did you all think?  Love it?  Hate it?  Loved the story?  Did you cry, too?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

No, “Love Jones” Does NOT Need A Sequel

“The Best Man Holiday” far exceeded expectations coming in No. 2 during its opening weekend earning just over $30 million.  This post will NOT be a review of the movie, as I told my Facebook friends that I would give them one week (until November 23) to see the movie before I posted about it.  So if you haven’t seen it, you can keep reading as there are no spoilers. 🙂

TBMH was an excellent movie.  Probably exceptional.   I was happy to see the growth and depth of each character.  And I can’t remember ANY movie causing me to feel every emotion imaginable.  And judging from others’ comments, I don’t think I am the only person that feels that way.  Black moviegoers have been trying to tell Hollywood for YEARS that we would like to see us in much more diverse roles.  We’re more than servants or sidekicks or sex kittens.  We are people who have our own stories of triumph and of fears to share…without being in someone else’s shadow.  And if “The Best Man Holiday” didn’t teach us anything else, it taught us that Black people have more than one story to tell.

Some people may think that with the success of a sequel 14 years in the making that most of our beloved movies from the late 1990s/early 2000s deserve a sequel so that we can see what happened to Darius and Nina from “Love Jones”, Sidney and Andre from “Brown Sugar” or Quincy and Monica from “Love and Basketball”.  Well, let me tell you a secret-we don’t.  We don’t even need a Part 3 to “The Best Man”.  Although “Bad Boys 2” came out almost 10 years after the original and did fairly well in the box office, it really wasn’t necessary.  And even though I thorougly enjoyed “Think Like A Man”, “Think Like a Man Too” is overkill.

For the next 3-5 years, we do not need to see an influx of sequels of movies with Blacks as the main characters for moviegoers to see in the theatres.  We need new and different stories to be told.  For example, former NFL player and current director/writer/producer Matthew Cherry is currently working on his next film “Game Time Decision”, which focuses on the decisions and possible consequences, good and bad, that need to be made when players enter into the NFL.

So, let’s not only challenge ourselves; let’s challenge Hollywood to make new movies that tell our story.  We don’t live our lives in circles, so why should we see our movies that way?  We are constantly changing and evolving and growing.  And it’s up to us to dare Hollywood to the do the same.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

14 Years in the Making

It’s December of 1999.  A 17 year old high school senior goes to the movies to see “The Best Man”.  She LOVES the movie.  She thinks it’s great.  She laughed. She was shocked!  And she thinks the acting was great.  She has her favorite characters and wonders if she will grow to be a writer like Harper, sharp tongued and no-nonsense like Jordan, or if she’ll stay as sweet and innocent as Mia (appears to be).  As she has done with each event she has attended since August, she saves the ticket stub to commemorate one more thing she has done during her senior year and adds it to her Senior Book.  As she gets older, she will eventually purchase the VHS of “The Best Man”, and during her senior year of college, she and her BFF/roommate watch this movie NO LESS than once a week…and quote each line of said movie.  As more time passes, she does away with the VHS and upgrades to owning a DVD.  And during her BFF’s wedding weekend, “The Best Man” is the movie of choice during mani/pedi time; and yes, they are still quoting lines 5 years later.

Now, it’s the fall of 2011.  It is announced that a sequal to “The Best Man” is being made-and the ENTIRE original cast has signed on.  This 17 year old girl is now a grown woman.  And she is SUPER excited to hear this news.  Now she will get to see if Lance and Mia stayed married, if Harper and Robin get married, and if Jordan ever finds someone she wants to marry.  What becomes of Murch and Candy?  And do Quentin and Shelby become a couple???  A year and a half passes, and a release date is announced for “The Best Man Holiday”.  As the date quickly approaches, the cast is seen everywhere, they are doing radio interviews, and the commercials for the movie put a smile on her face each time she hears Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and sees the four male stars entertaining their women by pretending to be New Edition.  (A LOT of resources have been put into this movie; so much so that she hopes that people will still spend their money to go see it.)  She has already decided she is going to see this movie opening weekend, even if she has to go by herself.  (She believes in supporting quality black cinema.)  Not to mention the New Potential stated that since he doesn’t share her same enthusiasm for the film, he probably shouldn’t go with her to see it.  -_-  The great thing is that she doesn’t have to go solo, because she and a girlfriend, who is just as hype as she is about seeing this movie, decided to go together and have purchased advance tickets. (She hasn’t known this friend long, but the more she finds out about her she thinks they may just be kindred spirits.)  One thing that does not escape her about this movie is that out of all of the people that have been to an advanced screening, NO ONE has said a negative thing about this film.  From men to women to people who didn’t care for the first one, all bloggers and Facebook sharers have said that there is something for everyone in this movie.  This little tidbit is not lost on her, even though she would probably love it no matter what anyone says.  And before she’s seen the movie, she’s already decided it’s going to be added to her DVD collection to join its predecessor.