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Review: 'Best Man Holiday' is both sticky-sweet and heavy

By Owen Gleiberman, EW
updated 1:35 PM EST, Fri November 15, 2013
Melissa De Sousa, Terrence Howard and Regina Hall star in
Melissa De Sousa, Terrence Howard and Regina Hall star in "The Best Man Holiday."
  • The film is a sequel to 1999's "The Best Man"
  • It reunites the characters at a Christmas house party
  • Reviewer says the "actors are winning"

( -- ''That was some melodramatic s---!''

So says Quentin, the bachelor troublemaker played by Terrence Howard in "The Best Man Holiday."

He's talking about one of the film's many heated, if not hysterical, fights, but he might be describing the movie as a whole. Back in 1999 "The Best Man" was an outrageously fresh comedy of love and backbiting, and not just because it marked Hollywood's belated discovery that characters could be upscale and African-American at the same time.

EW: Box office preview - 'The Best Man Holiday' won't best 'Thor'

The movie had wit, verve, spark, and surprise. But writer-director Malcolm D. Lee shouldn't have waited 14 years to do a sequel. "The Best Man Holiday" reunites the characters for a Christmas-weekend house party, and what ensues is like a better-written Tyler Perry movie: too many life crises rooted in too much recycled backstory.

The actors are winning, especially Taye Diggs as the now-struggling Harper, Regina Hall as the ex-stripper Candace, and the great Morris Chestnut as football star Lance. But "The Best Man Holiday" is an eggnog that's sticky-sweet and heavy at the same time. Grade: B-

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