“Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get” so says the wise man Forrest Gump.
That would be an appropriate description of Writer/Director Malcolm D. Lee’s “The Best Man Holiday,” the sequel to 1999’s “The Best Man.”
The reunion of cast members from the 1999 film – Taye Diggs (Harper), Nia Long (Jordan), Morris Chestnut (Lance), Monica Calhoun (Mia), Sanaa Lathan (Robyn), Harold Perrineau (Julian), Regina Hall (Candace), Melissa DeSouza (Shelby), and Terrance Howard (Quentin) – pick up where they left off to finish the “Unfinished Business” (the book Harper authored that was the trigger for a chain of events in the first movie) that has only festered over the years. Actor Eddie Cibrian (Brian) was added to the cast for the sequel.
Just like a box of chocolates, some pieces almost melt in your mouth, while other pieces are harder to sink your teeth into, but the flavor is still chocolate. The flavor in this movie is humor that covers a multitude of issues and emotions – tragedy, scandal, faith, hope, charity, triumph, and reconciliation. Sitting in the packed theater you could feel the pulse of the audience – the emotional highs and lows, the tear-jerking, and all out bursts of laughter especially each time Howard’s role would come on screen. He is the unrelenting, unapologetic, instigating wild card that viewers can rely upon for a release just at the right intervals throughout the two-hour, four-minute film. The soundtrack is great and the song selections immediately get you in the Christmas spirit (several Stevie Wonder-penned tunes were used).
I was a little disturbed by some of the expletives used in the cat fight scene with the cast of children present, but otherwise I highly recommend the movie and think it will do very well just in time for the holiday season. 4 ½ stars