So Igwe and I went to see The Best Man Holiday on Saturday night. We decided at about 3pm that we would go see the 9:15pm movie at AMC Loews, White Marsh. I don’t usually like seeing movies this late (old age oh!), but because I was already tired (you know The Verastic Show comes up on Saturdays) and needed a nap, I decided for 9:15 pm. We bought the tickets from Fandango. We got to the theater at 8:40 pm, and would you believe that there was already a line??? By the time the line started moving in and we got into the theater, it was almost full, so by the time the movie actually started playing, the theater was completely full.
The Best Man originally came out in 1999, and back then, it was a big deal. Fast forward to 14 years later, it
was is an even bigger deal. I have seen promotions for this movie everywhere I turn: television, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook … you name it. The promotion has been heavy. I knew I would go see it, and I guessed that I would probably like it, but I did not know that I would LOVE it, nor did I know that I should have come there with a box of tissues. It. Was. Beautiful.
One of the great things about The Best Man Holiday is that it isn’t brand new. I mean, we saw these same people 14 years ago, and now watching them again, it felt like they were real people you knew and hadn’t seen in 14 years. Lance (Morris Chestnut) and Mia (Monica Calhoun) are still very much in love, and they now have kids. Harper (Taye Diggs) and Robyn (Sanaa Lathan) are still in love and now expecting a child. Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) is still Shelby, and Quentin is still high and crazy. It wasn’t the way you’d watch a movie and they’ll show you 14 years later by dabbing a little make-up on the cast to make them look older. No, this was literally 14 years later. The cast literally aged. But everyone looked so, so, GOOD.
I won’t lie, I don’t get the heebie-jeebies when Morris Chestnut walks on set, but the women in my theater clearly felt differently. That scene where he walked into the bedroom totally shirtless, abs and all, the ladies in my theater were oohing and aahing, and there were a couple of “Oh, Lawd!” screams. Then that scene where we first saw the baby, I think literally everyone in the theater went, awwwwwwwwww.
The Best Man Holiday was written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee, and he did a fantabulous job. I don’t have anything against Tyler Perry and/or Madea, but Tyler Perry has pretty much dominated the Black Hollywood Industry since his debut with Diary Of A Mad Black Woman in 2005, so it was a breath of fresh air to see a great movie with Black stars that weren’t from Tyler Perry.
I was so, so proud of this movie, you don’t even know. I love seeing positivity in Black. I love to read stories about Black people and African people and Nigerian people doing great things. I don’t relate to “the hood,” so I typically don’t enjoy movies about it. I don’t enjoy movies where Black people are just portrayed as drug-trafficking, no-good, jail-imminent citizens. Movies like The Best Man Holiday make me happy (which would explain why I went to bed and dreamt about it).
That said, you know I’m an avid movie watcher, and I’ll watch anything that is good, regardless of the color of the people in it. Just like when I went to see Think Like A Man, most of the people in the theater were Black. As a matter of fact, I did not see one single White person. That doesn’t mean they were not there though, as it was dark and the theater was full. This time, however, I did not wonder why White people didn’t come out to see a “Black movie” (don’t Black people see “White movies?”). And yes, I realize it sounds ridiculous to categorize movies as Black or White, but it is what it is. Instead, I celebrated that so many Black people were out supporting fellow Black people.
Permit me to include Nollywood in this post: Now, this is the kind of movie I want to see from Nollywood. I’m not asking for great aesthetics or phenomenal visual art. I’m only asking for a great story, followed by great actors and great editing. Is that too much to ask? I have never, ever been blown away by a new Nollywood movie, and that says a lot. In my opinion, Old Nollywood (Pete Edochie, Liz Benson, Eucharia Anunobi, Zack Orji, Nkem Owoh, Bukky Ajayi, Bimbo Akintola, Larry Koldsweat, Hilda Dokubo, etc) is still miles ahead of New Nollywood.
Back to The Best Man Holiday, go see it. I give it a 10 because I cannot think of anything I’d have liked for them to do better. Take a box of tissue (or two) with you. Don’t use pancake (foundation) because you’ll end up washing it all off with your tears. And definitely don’t use mascara because you’ll end up looking like a zombie after the movie.
And if you’re into that sort of thing – as I am, then you should know that this movie made $30.6 million in its opening weekend, and it was number 2. Number 1 was Thor: The Dark World (another movie I have to see) which made $38 million. It cost $17 million to make The Best Man Holiday, so go figure. And if you’d like to compare, Think Like A Man made $33 million in its opening weekend. [Source: Forbes]
Go. See. The. Movie.
P.S. Igwe cried, too (though he tried to hide it)
P.P.S. When we came out from the movie sometime past 11 pm, there was another lined formed for the midnight movie. It was so long that it wrapped around and we did not see the end of it. Go figure.