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The Best Man (1999)
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Review Date: October 20, 1999
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Writer: Malcolm D. Lee
Producers: Spike Lee, Sam Kitt, Bill Carraro
Actors:
Taye Diggs
Nia Long
Morris Chestnut
Plot:
A best man at a wedding comes together with his old college buddies a couple of days before the exchange of the vows, and is suddenly placed under a magnifying glass when his first novel (To be launched on Oprah, thank you very much!) gets premiered by all of his friends. It isn't long before each friend begins to recognize themselves in the book and learn secrets about one another which they never knew.
Critique:
Great film, great script, great premise and great characters. This film was funny, it was poignant, it was timely (Okay, maybe that's just me, but it's definitely geared to all twenty-somethings), it was always interesting and an overall joy to absorb. The film talks about coming of age, career and love-life sacrifices, accepting adulthood, and even more so, appreciating commitment. I hope people don't avoid this film because they think it's just another "black movie" because this film has absolutely nothing to do with the color of one's skin. It's about love, friendship, trust, honesty, and forgiveness. But even more than that, it's about a bunch of guys, each of which I could relate to one or a few friends in my own life, who meet, drink, play poker, enjoy a certain night of bachelor fun, and who discuss women, their lives, their hopes, their dreams and once again, their relationships and impressions of the women in their lives. In fact, a lot of frank discussion travels along this film, as well as plenty of well-timed humor and romance.

Girls might enjoy this film a little more for that aspect (Yes, Mrs. JoBlo loved it!), but guys will remain in the ballgame with plenty of connection to the lively male characters, all living down something or another in their lives. Congratulations to director Malcolm Lee for putting together such a solid effort his first time around the bend, with excellent performances all around. I especially enjoyed Morris Chestnut's performance as the over-sexed, but ready-to-settle-down-now football player who wants to get married so that he could quench his promiscuity. The audience that I saw it with tonite loved this movie and demonstrated their enjoyment with plenty of spontaneous rounds of laughter and applause filling the house. They, as well as me, I must admit, also hooted and hollered at the presence of actor Taye Diggs without his shirt every so often (Mark Wahlberg: Part Deux?) with another Oscar-worthy performance by his rock-solid pectorals. Supporting nomination for his ass? :) Actually, I thought Diggs was okay in this film, but not as good as his smaller role in GO (9/10). Having said that, the film itself was a complete success, with plenty of fun, interesting twists and turns, moments of cringing, moments of crying and moments of flashbacks. A little too clean of an ending for my taste, but hey...I guess some happy endings do also happen in real life, right? See it with your friends or your better half, but not both together. It might just get ugly! :)
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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