The Best Man Holiday
The Best Man Holiday.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMalcolm D. Lee
Written byMalcolm D. Lee
Based onCharacters
by Malcolm D. Lee
Produced byMalcolm D. Lee
Sean Daniel
CinematographyGreg Gardiner
Edited byPaul Millspaugh
Music byStanley Clarke
  • Blackmaled Productions
  • Sean Daniel Company
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • November 15, 2013 (2013-11-15)
Running time
123 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$17 million[2]
Box office$71.6 million[2]

The Best Man Holiday is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written, co-produced and directed by Malcolm D. Lee. A sequel to Lee's The Best Man (1999), it stars Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau, Monica Calhoun and Melissa De Sousa, all reprising their roles from the previous film.[3] Along with Lee, the film was produced by Sean Daniel.

Highly anticipated, the project was announced in October 2011 and principal photography began in April 2013 in Toronto, Ontario.[4] The Best Man Holiday was released on November 15, 2013 by Universal Pictures. It received positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances of the cast, Lee's direction and the dramatic elements, with some criticism aimed at the screenplay. It was a commercial success, grossing $71 million worldwide on a production budget of $17 million.

The film received multiple accolades and nominations, including being nominated four times at the 45th NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Chestnut and Howard) and Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Lee).


This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. (March 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Mia Sullivan (Monica Calhoun), wife of Lance Sullivan (Morris Chestnut), has sent letters requesting that the old gang joins them for Christmas: Harper Stewart (Taye Diggs) and his almost-ready pregnant wife Robyn (Sanaa Lathan), Julian "Murch" Murchison (Harold Perrineau) and wife Candace Sparks (Regina Hall), her best friend Jordan Armstrong (Nia Long) and boyfriend Brian McDonald (Eddie Cibrian), Quentin "Q" Spivey (Terrence Howard), and Shelby Taylor (Melissa De Sousa).

Shelby is living the dreamed life as a cast member of a popular The Real Housewives television show franchise, and is now a prominent reality television star. Q is now a successful brand manager and heavily connected to prominent celebrities.

Years after his debut novel, Harper is struggling with writer's block and financial difficulties, having been recently relieved of his faculty position at NYU, compounded by his wife having difficulty conceiving. Harper's agent suggests that Harper writes a biography of his estranged best friend, Lance, who is set to retire from football. Though Harper and Lance are on good enough terms to maintain an acquaintanceship, Lance makes it a point to keep an emotional distance. Harper reluctantly agrees to the biography, but keeps the idea a secret.

The Murch family now includes two little daughters and Julian finally opened and runs a renowned school, with his wife former stripper, Candace, as his head of admissions. His main donor, however, abruptly terminates his relationship with the school when he learns of Candace's past. It is then that Julian finds a YouTube video of his wife stripping and accepting money for sex at a fraternity party. Julian confides in Quentin.

All the friends arrive at the house, the first time they've come together in 14 years. At dinnertime, the old friends catch up but old tensions resurface and grow.

Brian leaves for his family's annual Christmas gathering in Vermont. As he leaves, Jordan tells him that, while she loves him, she does not need him. 'Everybody needs somebody, Jordan,' Brian says.

Among other things, on another night the band has a good after-dinner time with the men dance and lip-sync to "Can You Stand the Rain" which Mia notes works well to patching up old wounds between Lance and Harper.

It is when Harper goes down to the kitchen that he finds Mia throwing up blood. Mia reveals to Harper that she was diagnosed with cancer more than a year ago and it's terminal but that she needs Harper's help to guide Lance coming to terms with it.

At breakfast the next morning, Q and Shelby accidentally switch phones and Shelby finds Candace's video on Q's phone. She tries to use it to coerce Julian to resume his previous relationship with her but Julian refuses. Not long afterwards, Candace loses patience with Shelby and confronts her, which leads to a physical altercation after which Candace leaves the house with her and Julian's daughters. Later, Candace returns and reconciles with Julian through dialogue.

The ladies are preparing for a spa day when Mia collapses while trying to hang an ornament on the Christmas tree. This forces Harper to tell the rest of the friends about Mia's condition; the friends are supportive.

While Harper is wrapping the children's Christmas gifts, Lance approaches him and the two reminisce about their college days and seem to overcome their differences. The next day, the gang volunteers at a shelter, with Q acting grudgingly as Santa Claus. But Lance soon stumbles across Harper's iPad and journal in Mia's purse, and a mock book cover for his unauthorized biography on the tablet. Lance angrily confronts Harper and tells him to stay away from him and his family, 'forever this time'. Mia unsuccessfully tries to calm Lance down. He takes Mia home, leaving Q and Harper behind where Harper finally breaks down and admits the truth of his financial situation. After giving humble words of comfort to Harper, Q vows to take care of his debts as a friendly favor.

Lance is still heated over the biography when Mia challenges Lance to acknowledge the truth. She is to blame equally with Harper for the longtime feud between the two men by virtue of her having been in full knowledge of the pain her affair with Harper (see The Best Man) would incur on Lance. Mia then takes off her wig, forcing Lance to also acknowledge the severity of her condition.

Christmas Day is also Lance's big game. Brian returns, affording Jordan an apology. Lance starts a troublesome first half. Mia calls Harper to speak to Lance, inspiring him to ultimately break the all-time rushing record in a game-winning performance. The men then rush home to Mia who, not long after, succumbs.

At the memorial service, Harper delivers a heartfelt eulogy confounded as to why God would take a human away to heaven on the same day he gave his Son to the earth. Lance later thanks his friend and in the conversation affirms, 'But God is always there when we need him.' Harper is encouraged: 'That is why you will always be the better man, Lance.'

All are shown to reconcile and Q and Shelby come to terms with their romantic incompatibility. Shelby gives Julian a check for two million dollars, covering the funding gap created by the donor pull-out with no special favors in return. Later Brian, Jordan's boyfriend, promises to assist by some investors he knows personally.

Robyn's water suddenly breaks. Lance, Harper, and Candace try to rush her to the hospital but they get stuck in traffic; it is thus Lance who delivers Harper's baby in the backseat of the SUV. The healthy baby girl is named Mia.

Ten months later, Harper and Lance are closer than ever and Harper has now written Lance's biography, God, Family and Football. When Lance visits Harper and Robyn at their house in New York City, Harper gets a phone call from Q wherein Q announces his anticipated marriage but immediately warns Harper that he better not have had slept with his bride.



In October 2011, it was announced that a sequel to the 1999 film The Best Man was in development.[6] On February 22, 2013, it was announced that the film would be titled The Best Man Holiday.[7]

In March 2013, Terrence Howard revealed details about the film,[8] saying: "I think it's going to be amazing film and I get teary-eyed thinking about it because there's some tragedy in it. That's all I'll say...[Director and screenwriter] Malcolm Lee showed us what intelligent young black people were capable of in The Best Man I, but The Best Man II, it shows where people go, whether they're doing the right thing or the wrong thing, and how much we need each other within our community."[9]

Principal photography began in April 2013 in Toronto, Ontario.[10]


Box office

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The Best Man Holiday debuted with a $10.7 million Friday total, notably beating Thor: The Dark World for the top box office spot of that day.[11] The Best Man Holiday did even better the next day earning $12.4 million on Saturday.[12] It then went on to be the number two film of the weekend, taking in close to $30.6 million.[13]

Critical response

As of October 2021, the film holds a 70% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 97 reviews with an average rating of 6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Best Man Holiday manages honest laughs out of broad humor, and affects convincing drama from a deeply conventional plot."[14] Metacritic gives the film a score of 59 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[15] CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film a rare "A+" grade.[16]

The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday gave it 2.5 stars, saying the "[s]equel is both a romp and a tearjerker... Like a long-lost soap opera emerging from a Rip Van Winkle–length hiatus, 'The Best Man Holiday' has lost none of its often baggy, saggy melodrama; luckily, when things get too soppy, Howard can be depended on for crude one-liners that land with all the more finesse thanks to his smoky, slightly stoned delivery. ...And 'The Best Man Holiday' has clearly caught up with the times, with one plot point revolving around social media run amok, off-handedly invoking everyone from Barack Obama (natch) to Melissa Harris-Perry, Olivia Pope and Robin Thicke".[17]


The film's soundtrack includes songs by R. Kelly, Jordin Sparks, Mary J. Blige, Monica, Ne-Yo, Marsha Ambrosius, John Legend, Emeli Sandé, and more.[18]

Track listing
1."Christmas Time to Me"Jordin Sparks2:53
2."Someday at Christmas"Mario3:02
3."What Christmas Means to Me"Fantasia2:24
4."I Still Have You"Charlie Wilson4:07
5."Christmas I'll Be Steppin'"R. Kelly5:26
6."This Christmas"Mary J. Blige3:18
7."Shelter"John Legend2:54
8."Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"Monica2:45
9."Winter Wonderland"Emeli Sandé2:21
10."Can You Stand the Rain"New Edition4:54
11."I Want to Come Home for Christmas"Ne-Yo3:44
12."O Holy Night"Jayda Brown & Jasmine Watkins, Monica Calhoun2:26
13."As"Marsha Ambrosius & Anthony Hamilton5:31

Awards and nominations

Acapulco Black Film Festival

14th BET Awards

2014 Black Reel Awards

45th NAACP Image Awards


On July 22, 2014, Universal announced that a third film, The Best Man Wedding, was to be produced. The film would again be written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee and was scheduled to be released on April 15, 2016.[24][25][26] With Warner Bros. Barbershop: The Next Cut, another Lee directed film, being scheduled for release on the same day and scheduling conflicts with The Best Man's ensemble cast, Universal pushed The Best Man Wedding back to sometime in 2017.[27][28][29][30] In April 2016, the film was put on hold indefinitely.[31]

The Best Man Wedding: The Final Chapters

On February 9, 2021, Peacock gave a production greenlight to a ten-episode limited series. The Best Man Wedding: The Final Chapters is created by Lee and Dayna Lynne North who also serve as executive producers. Chestnut, Diggs, Hall, Howard, Lathan, Long, Perrineau and De Sousa are set to reprise their roles.[32]

See also


  1. ^ "THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY (15)". Universal Studios. British Board of Film Classification. November 15, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "The Best Man Holiday". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  3. ^ "ET First: 'The Best Man Holiday' Set Visit". April 29, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  4. ^ "Terrence Howard, Taye Diggs & Harold Perrineau Reunite To Film "The Best Man Holiday" (PHOTOS)". Global Grind. April 9, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  5. ^ "The Best Man Holiday (2013) - IMDb".
  6. ^
  7. ^ "'Best Man' Sequel Now Titled 'The Best Man Holiday' | Shadow and Act". Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  8. ^ "Terrence Howard Reveals Details On 'The Best Man Holiday': Notable/Quotable". Huffington Post. March 12, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  9. ^ Monday (March 11, 2013). "Terrence Howard Reveals Plot Secrets in "The Best Man" Sequel - Entertainment News - ABC News Radio". Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  10. ^ "Terrence Howard Starts Filming 'The Best Man Holiday' With Taye Diggs & Harold Perrineau (PHOTOS)". Global Grind. April 9, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  11. ^ Mendelson, Scott (November 16, 2013). "Friday Box Office: 'Best Man Holiday' Steals Thor's Thunder". Forbes. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  12. ^ "Box Office: How Did 'The Best Man Holiday' Open So Big?" AOL Moviefone. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
  13. ^ Bowles, Scott (November 17, 2013). "'Best Man Holiday' nearly beats mighty 'Thor'". USA Today. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  14. ^ "The Best Man Holiday (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 9, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  15. ^ "The Best Man Holiday". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  16. ^ "'Dunkirk' Drums Up $5.5M On Thursday Night; 'Valerian' & 'Girls Trip' Each Gross $1.7M". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  17. ^ Hornaday, Ann (November 13, 2013). "'The Best Man Holiday' movie review: Sequel is both a romp and a shameless tearjerker". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  18. ^ "Stream 'The Best Man Holiday' Soundtrack Featuring R. Kelly, Monica, Mario, & Fantasia". Rap-Up. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  19. ^ "Soundtrack Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  20. ^ "Soundtrack Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  21. ^ "Soundtrack Chart History (Soundtrack Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  22. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 2014". Billboard. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  23. ^ "Soundtracks – Year-End 2014". Billboard. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  24. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (November 18, 2013). "Universal, Malcolm D. Lee In Talks To Make 'The Best Man Holiday' Sequel After Monster Opening". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  25. ^ Couch, Aaron (July 22, 2014). "'The Best Man Wedding' Coming in 2016 - Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  26. ^ Jones, Kathryn E. (July 23, 2014). "'The Best Man Wedding' Already Has A 2016 Release Date". Vibe. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  27. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. (August 4, 2015). "'Barbershop 3' Moves To April Release Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  28. ^ "Universal's "The Best Man" Future Is Uncertain - BuzzFeed News". October 5, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  29. ^ Terrero, Nina (September 14, 2015). "The Perfect Guy star Morris Chestnut reveals why he took the role, discusses Best Man Wedding details". Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  30. ^ "The Best Man Wedding (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  31. ^ "'The Best Man Wedding' delayed indefinitely, director says". Daily News. April 7, 2016. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
  32. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 9, 2021). "'The Best Man' Limited Series With Original Cast Ordered By Peacock From Malcolm D. Lee & Dayna Lynne North". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 9, 2021.