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Best Man Holiday, The


Stars: Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa, Eddie Cibrian

Director: Malcolm D. Lee

Forget Oklahoma! The corn in this collection of clichés is far higher than an elephant’s eye, so high in fact that it could easily obscure a herd of giant giraffes.

In 1999, first-time writer and director Malcolm M Lee hit the US box-office jackpot with The Best Man. And now he reunites the key cast – former college friend Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Howard Perrineau, Monica Calhoun and Melissa De Sousa – for a Christmas reunion combining enough schmaltz, tear-jerking troops and soggy sentiment to make Downton Abbey resemble a searing sociological documentary.

Give Lee his due – no cliché is left unplumbed, no soap opera sentiment remains unused as the luckless nine reunite for Christmas only to find everything has changed. Rivalry, bitchery and romance are the prime emotions on offer this time and while the cast should be admired for keep their faces straight in the face of so much dramatic drivel, sitting through the overlong, overwrought and under-compelling show requires more than a just a tsunami of Christmas goodwill.

We’ve waited 14 years for this overlong underfed sequel. For my money, I’d have been more than happy to wait another 14 years at the very least.

Tickets for the film would be a perfect Christmas present for someone you hate.

Alan Frank

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by deluxe.
123 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 30 Nov 2013