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Best Man [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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A glossy romantic comedy, The Best Man centres on four college friends and the women in their lives, all brought back together for a wedding. Taye Diggs (How Stella Got Her Groove Back) plays the title character, a young writer whose first novel is a barely fictionalised account of his college days, featuring barely fictionalised versions of all his friends. This novel hasn't yet been released, but ambitious TV producer Nia Long (Soul Food) has snagged an advance copy in the hopes of getting an early interview with Diggs. Unfortunately, when this advance copy begins circulating among the college gang, they discover it reveals some secrets that may have a disastrous effect on the wedding. The Best Man features a handsome, charming cast and a propulsive story, but the female characters are poorly developed and the male banter is, to say the least, chauvinistic. This banter is mostly to comic effect, but by the end it still leaves a sour taste that the movie's happy ending doesn't counter. It does at least feature a particularly strong performance by Terrence Howard as an aimless but relentlessly honest member of the college quartet. --Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com
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The film is well performed across the board although special mention needs to be made of Taye Diggs in the lead. Diggs perfectly captures the arrogance and the fear of commitment that makes the character of Harper work. Morris Chesnut is also quite good as the groom Lance. Lance is a star running back who is torn by his love for Mia and all the oppurtunies his "star" status provides. Mia really has become the rock in this world, his key to becoming a better man and Christian. When Lance finally gets to the chapter that Harper has been so afraid of him reading his entire world is shaken and nothing is on solid ground. Chesnut nails the sense of frustration of a man who all of a sudden finds his house is build on quicksand. Powerful stuff and again, none of it seems forced or pushed. The victory for virtue as defined by this film, however, is not easy and does not rely on conventional finger waging notions and stereotypes. In fact, the most interesting and best acted character is Quentin (Terrence Dashon Howard). He slyly and wisely presents the argument that we are not meant to be monogamous, but he is consistent in not expecting men and women to live by a double standard. He is in many ways correctly cynical about all of his friends and the rest of us. It is a testament to confident story telling when a character presents a contradictory position so well. In addition, Quentin is hilariously madcap with his quips.
When we finally get to the wedding and hear the vows of the groom and bride as a celebration of their commitment and union, the movie literally blooms with sweetness and beauty. This may sound corny, but when it is well done as it was here, we have insatiable appetites for seeing people face their selfish expectations and hypocrisy to become true partners in love and life. It is of note that Spike Lee's company produced this movie. Apparently, the able writer-director, Malcolm D. Lee, is a relative. The setting is affluent, literate, intelligent, success driven, neurotically yuppie and entirely African-American. (We don't recall seeing a white face on the screen.) In this, Best Man offers a refreshing and powerful diversion from the heaviness of urban blight and racial oppression as the world of blacks on film. As real as these phenomena are, blacks are diverse in their accomplishments and social strata.
Malcom Lee, Spike's cousin dispalys his intricuit understanding of upwardly mobile black New York and allows all who watch regardless of race or socioeconomic position to enter into the world of the autonomous young.
A MUST WATCH FOR ALL PEOPLE WHO LOVE FILM.
The Best Man? No the best film.
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