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The Best Man Review

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Novelist Harper Stewart flies to his best mate's wedding, but arrives with trepidation that his novel, which is based on his and his friends' lives, will get into their grasp before the ceremony. The novel contains loosely veiled info about Harper's one-

★★★★★

Hip novelist Harper Stewart flies to New York to act as best man at his friend Lance's wedding. Relieved to be taking a break from the booming tick of his girlfriend Robin's biological clock, he's nevertheless anticipating a reunion with his college buddies with trepidation. And with good reason. The steamy tome he is about to have published is populated with characters based anything but loosely on his friends. Worst of all, it contains a thinly-veiled reference to a one-night-stand he once had with Lance's fiancé Mia (Monica Calhoun), and he is desperate to keep the incriminating evidence from the groom until after the ceremony. Unfortunately, one of the bridesmaids, Jordan, has obtained an advance copy and is threatening to reveal all. A further complication arises via the unconsummated lust between Harper and Jordan which must be settled one way or another before Robin arrives.

With a plot so gnarly it requires carbon dating, this debut feature from writer-director Malcolm D. Lee doesn't look exactly promising. Happily, it turns out to be something of a gem. The cast are uniformly excellent - particularly Chestnut, as the volatile, overly-possessive Lance and Terrence Howard as likeable lothario Quentin. And they're well served by a punchy, quick-fire script that rides out the looming clichés by focusing as closely on the simmering tensions as it does on the back-slapping and tears.

It all cops out at the end, though, as all wedding pics do, but along the way there's plenty of fine acting, sharp dialogue and sexual intrigue to keep most audiences interested. And any wedding party cool enough to have jazz legends Stanley Clarke and Lenny White in the band has got to be worth attending.

It all cops out at the end as all wedding pics do, but along the way there's plenty of fine acting, sharp dialogue and sexual intrigue to keep most audiences interested.

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