The genre that is the romantic comedy is and has always been a very popular choice, especially when it comes to the best overall “date movie”. You can’t go wrong by taking your female love interest to see a good old fashioned “chick flick”, unless of course she is the queen or “king” of tomboys and would rather prefer a classic action or horror movie. In those rarest of cases, warranting a pretty face, you should offer her an engagement ring at the end of the date before some other guy with common sense does it the following day. Getting back on topic, the romantic comedy, although loved by many has become kind of dry with many of its films having the same old predictable plot. The romantic comedy with a black dominated cast, however, usually gives the genre a little something else to look forward to. From the sassiness of the females to the blatant and vulgar but comedic back and forth’s between the men, there’s always something to look forward to.
Both written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee, The Best Man stars Taye Diggs as Harper Stewart, an aspiring writer who has just finished his first major novel, afraid of commitment with his girlfriend Robin (Sanaa Latham) and who is the best man at a wedding for two of his closest friends from college, Lance (Morris Chestnut) and Mia (Monica Calhoun). He reunites with the rest of his college associates, Jordan (Nia Long), Quentin (Terrence Howard) and Murch (Harold Perrineau) for this celebratory occasion. Harper leaves his girlfriend Robin at home to arrive early for the pre-wedding takings of place; i.e. last minute planning, hanging out, catching up and of course the bachelor party. From the time Harper and Jordan see each other, the audience has keyed in that there might be something between them more than just friendship. On cue, the back story between them is revealed. They worked together at their university’s newspaper and got pretty close one night alone in the office. Although they stepped to the edge, they didn’t jump into the lovers’ territory.
By this time you’re thinking, “basic love story, new faces, same plot”. Then it’s shared with the audience that the characters in Harper’s book, of which advanced copies were shared with all of his friends without his permission by Murch, all share rather similar life stories with all of Harper’s friends. Every one of them are just alter egos of their real life counterparts. Many secrets are shared about their college past that adds a little something extra to this storyline. They all find out something about Harper from reading his book and immediately believe all of it to be true. Between wanting to be a good friend, especially to Lance, contemplating his feelings about
Jordan and trying to overcome his indecisions about finally settling down with Robin while still attempting to enjoy the weekend catching up with his friends, this originally supposed to be wonderful time has quickly transformed into chaos for Harper.
First off I would like to give this movie an “A” for beautiful women. Usually black films have the most stunning actresses but unfortunately their acting is not. This film has both. Nia Long and Sanaa Lathan, already established actresses, continue to display their already well known beauty and talent. Nothing to go Oscar over, but very good for the characters in the film. They are strong, independent, black females showcasing their personality all over the screen. As in other films they have taken part in, this one is no different. Taye Diggs is his usual character in a lead role. A man trying to make a professional name for himself but unable to decide on the right female to help him. Terrence Howard; wisecracking and a go get ‘em personality provides for much of the comedic presence in this film. Morris Chestnut as a star running back/former womanizing Christian was the only character I felt didn’t make complete sense. He has found his “one” to be with forever but plowed through many a one night stand before allowing himself to be finally “tackled”. I don’t quite understand how a devout Christian can also be a ladies’ man. It sounds like a contradiction to me but the Christian aspect of his character does play a part in the story.
The overall feel of this movie is truly a good one. It does fall into the category of being a black dramedy but sets itself apart from every other storyline. Lee did a good job with the script, revealing little juicy bit after little juicy bit. I really enjoyed the comedy and of course the bachelor party scene where a stripper named Candy (Regina Hall) attracts more than the usual hooting and hollering attention of Murch, who can’t stand his own girlfriend. In conclusion, I stand to give The Best Man, “3 innocent kisses on the forehead out of 5”. “You know how many single honeys be at weddin’s? It’s about to be a ho-asis in that baby, honey.”