Best Man successfully combines handsome cast and emotional story

In a time when many movies portray African-American characters as gangsters and drug pushers, The Best Man (Universal Pictures) takes place in a world far away from the hood. The feature film debut of writer/producer Malcolm Lee, Spike Lee’s cousin, encompasses a wonderful cast of career-oriented African Americans who defy negative stereotypes.

The Best Man chronicles a weekend in the lives of a group of college friends who are reuniting for the wedding of Lance (Morris Chestnut, Boyz ‘N the Hood) and Mia (Monica Calhoun, The Player’s Club). Harper Stewart (Taye Diggs, How Stella Got Her Groove Back) is an author and the best man in the wedding. He recently finished a book, Unfinished Business. The book is based loosely on his life and discloses a secret college affair.

Although the book is not supposed to be released until after the wedding, Jordan (Nia Long, Love Jones), a bridesmaid and an ambitious producer, obtains an advance copy and passes it around. With the vows about to be exchanged, the pressure mounts. Harper’s friends soon figure out the dark secrets of his past. By the end of the weekend scandalous secrets from the book are revealed, and the wedding is in jeopardy.

The Best Man showcases a talented and gorgeous cast. Diggs, one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars, turns in a brilliant performance. Quentin (Terrence Howard, Dead Presidents) captures movie-goers’ attention as the extravagant loverboy with enormous artistic talents. Hilariously funny, Howard gives his character an amazing blend of sarcasm and sass.

Murch (Harold Perrineau, Romeo and Juliet) is an overemotional and sensitive guy trapped in a dysfunctional relationship with Shelby (Melissa De Sousa, Ride). Chestnut gives a strong and touching performance as an aggressive yet highly Christian man who is coerced into examining his ethics. Sanaa Lathan (Life) plays Robin, Harper’s unbelievably patient girlfriend, and also gives a memorable performance.

The Best Man is a coming-of-age film that shows the responsibilities attached to adulthood. Revelations and inner turmoil motivate all the characters to grow and transform in a positive way. With a spicy blend of seasoned actors, the characters are well developed, believable and, at times, outrageously funny. The Best Man will take its viewers on an emotional roller coaster ride.

The Best Man is playing in theaters.

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