From the late 90's to the mid 2000's, black romantic comedies were a staple in my life. Movies like Love Jones, The Brothers and Love & Basketball were always playing on my television. So much to the point where I can still quote the script verbatim if you were to pop one in right now.
Another film that can be added to that long list is The Best Man. I had to be about 10 or 11 when the original film came out and I remember seeing the previews, anticipating it's release. Silly me made the mistake of expressing how excited I was for it and my grandmother killed all my dreams with a single statement.
"You don't need to see that!"
Though she was right, no one asked her. Needless to say, my premature self saw that movie and even landed myself a copy.
I gasped with the rest of the female population with an affinity for chocolate when Morris Chestnut swaggered around that corner as the irresistible Lance Sullivan. Do you remember those big, brown eyes, all glistening and whatnot?And that smile?? Yes God for all that is beautiful!
The six of them shared a bond that I respectively envy, if there is even such a thing. Infidelity and egos aside, they all genuinely cared for each other. That love they shared was still present in the sequel, despite the major rift between Lance and Harper, who had been best friends since college.
Without giving the movie away, I will mention a couple things that I admired.
First of all, can we please talk about how beautiful the cast was after 15 years! I know that's what everyone has been talking about since the rumors began floating about this reunion but it's so true. They all looked great! I believe I read somewhere that the two youngest people on set were Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs, both at 42. Nia Long has an undying beauty that was radiant the entire film. I wasn't a huge fan of Melissa De Sousa's hair but other than that, everyone looked the same as I remembered.
The thing that stood out to me the most was the many examples of genuine black love among the couples. Merch and Candy were hilarious to me. Robin and Harper were exactly what I expected them to be and Lance and Mia were super adorable in every way possible. Nothing seemed forced and there were a few times I felt myself go, 'Awww! How cute!' Lately, there hasn't been a black romantic comedy that I can recall that brought back those warm, nostalgic feelings like the films from back then.
When I was younger, I didn't sneak to watch those movies completely out of rebellion but because I admired the representation of love. Often times African Americans get a bad rep when it comes to love and relationships. To see other black people expressing their feelings and loving unashamedly was and still is refreshing and inspiring to me.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who is a sucker for a good romantic comedy, especially when it has all-star black cast like this one. I would like to thank Malcolm Lee for getting this cast back together and for not rushing the project off the strength of it's predecessor. I want to thank Nia, Sanaa, Taye, Monica, Morris, Terrence, Harold, Melissa and Regina for choosing to stay on board in order to make magic on the big screen, at least one more time (and for staying absolutely beautiful for all that time!)
Being the romantic that I am, I'm thankful for movies like these. Positive black images are so necessary right now and to know that that there are others that still care is such a relief.
I HIGHLY recommend you go see this film. Never have I experienced so many emotions in just one sitting.
Let me know how you enjoyed it! Which if the two films do you think was better? Why?