"The Best Man Holiday"– Thoughts from the Director & My Take

Tuesday, 19 November 2013 22:56 Written by  Tiffani Alexander

On Wednesday, Nov. 13, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a premiere viewing of Malcolm D. Lee’s new film, The Best Man Holiday at the historic Howard Theater in Washington, DC. The event, which was presented by Comcast and Universal Pictures, featured a discussion on diversity in film with Lee –– The Best Man writer, director and producer –– and MSNBC’s Tamron Hall before the viewing.

We all know that if something sales, the powers that be want to sale it again. While discussing the likelihood of films starring primarily minority casts becoming more mainstream, Lee stated, “If this [Holiday] makes a ton of money, they [Hollywood] will say ‘oh lets do some more like it.’ And we’ve seen it before where they’ll make carbon copies of it and then it gets watered down and pitters out. It’s got to be about the quality of work.”

And Lee’s work is indeed quality, well most of it (he did direct Scary Movie 5), and his loyal fan base have been waiting over a decade for this sequel. Will there be a third movie? While Lee didn't promise another film, he did state that he would love for The Best Man to become a franchise. “It is very rare that an African American movie gets to be labeled a franchise,” said Lee. “I think the studio is looking at this as a potential franchise.” However, in order for Universal to make that happen, there has to be an audience for it – meaning we need to support it.

“The only way it will happen, is if you go out and support the movie,” said Lee. “And I’m not saying support every black movie there is, I’m saying support the black movies that are good, that make you feel like you're included, that make you feel validated; make you feel like a human being, an American.”

I can honestly say that The Best Man Holiday did all of those things for me, and apparently I’m not that only one. If the film’s opening weekend box office numbers are any indication, I think we can look forward to another installment of this new “franchise.” According to reports, The Best Man Holiday made $30.5 million over the weekend, coming in second to the highly promoted (and funded) Marvel superhero film, Thor: The Dark World, which took in a reported $38.4 million. These numbers surprised some of mainstream media, with certain publications comparing its success to that of other “race-themed” films of the year like Lee Daniels’ The Butler and 12 Years A Slave. I don’t have the energy to go into why The Best Man Holiday is not a race film, but a film about friendship, love and faith with a cast that just so happens to not be Caucasian. I recommend the Huffington Post article, “Why The Best Man Holiday Isn’t ‘Race-Themed” by Olivia Cole if you would, however, like to contribute to that conversation (yeah, everything she said!).

I, for one, was not at all surprised by how well the follow up to 1999’s The Best Man did. All over social media I saw friends talking about group outings and date nights to see the movie. Every status update was a variation of “Go see The Best Man Holiday, it was great!” My very own status stated that I actually thought the sequel was better than the original. How is that possible? Well, not only was the storyline moving while simply being “real” with themes of friendship, love, faith and forgiveness running all up and through it, but seeing the whole crew reunited was like a reunion for audience. Many of us fell in love with Morris Chestnut in the first film (well I did; I interviewed him once. He said my name and smiled while he did it … but I digress), and the “Who is finer Sanaa Lathan or Nia Long” debate among the fellas began.

Even though almost 14 years have passed since the movie that many believe opened the door for films like The Brothers and Two Can Play That Game (to name a few of the “romantic comedy”–esq. films with African American casts that came out in the early 2000s) debuted, the storyline picked up perfectly and the connection between the characters was still there. Everyone looked great and genuinely seemed happy to be reuniting in the lands of fact and fiction.

I don’t want to give away any of the movie because I’m sure many of you will be going to see it with family over the holiday weekend. I will say, however, that you will laugh and cry (even the fellas!), and then laugh and cry some more. It is worth the ticket price and your time –- trust me. Oh, and the last five seconds of the movie set up the perfect third installment. So please, give Universal a reason to franchise The Best Man. I have got to see this!

Tiffani Alexander

Tiffani Alexander

Publisher and Editor in Chief of GlossMagazineOnline.com (GMO), Tiffani Alexander came to Chicago in the fall of 2004 to pursue her Master's degree in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management at Columbia College Chicago. Tiffani earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of
 Maryland, College Park. She has worked for both Cygnus Business Media and Maher Publishing before embarking on her dream to start her own magazine. In addition to publishing GMO bi-monthly, Tiffani freelances and works as an editor on a legal journal in Washington, DC.


Tiffani can be contacted at TiffaniA@glossmagazineonline.com

Follow her on Twitter: @TiffaniGMO


Website: www.glossmagazineonline.com