The Best Man (1999 film)

The Best Man (1999 film)

Infobox Film
name = The Best Man

image size = 200px
caption = Theatrical release poster
director = Malcolm D. Lee
producer = Bill Carraro
Sam Kitt
Spike Lee
writer = Malcolm D. Lee
starring = Taye Diggs
Monica Calhoun
Morris Chestnut
Nia Long
Sanaa Lathan
music = Stanley Clarke
cinematography = Frank Prinzi
editing = Cara Silverman
distributor = Universal Pictures
released = flagicon|US October 22, 1999
runtime = 120 min.
country = U.S.A.
language = English
budget = $9,000,000 [, Box Office Mojo]
gross = $34,102,780
amg_id = 1:180990
imdb_id = 0168501

"The Best Man" is a 1999 romantic comedy-drama film, written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee. It was produced by Spike Lee's (director Malcolm Lee's cousin) production company, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks. The film stars Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs, and is considered to be a male-centered answer to female-targeted films such as "Waiting to Exhale".


Harper Stewart (Diggs) is a young man living in Chicago who is about to hit the big time professionally. His debut novel, ominously titled "Unfinished Business", has been selected by Oprah's Book Club. He has a beautiful and devoted girlfriend, Robin (Lathan), and his best friend Lance (Chestnut) is getting married on the weekend in New York. In an early scene with Harper and Robin lounging in a tub, it becomes clear that all is not well. Robin merely sighs contentedly and idly mentions that she could stay like this forever. For Harper, life is just beginning, and he feels that committing to a woman now that he’s on the verge of success would be a death-knell for him.

To complicate matters further, Harper's new book, which is autobiographical, has fallen into the wrong hands. Jordan (Long), an old woulda-coulda-shoulda flame of Harper’s, has read an advance copy that seems to be working its way through Harper’s inner circle, coincidentally the other members of the wedding party. In the novel are several unsavory fictionalized characterizations of Harper's real-life friends. These friends all take it in good stride when they talk to Harper face-to-face, but their hurt causes at least one of them to want to teach Harper a lesson. Jordan learns that Harper’s book is unabashedly flattering in its portrayal of a character based on her, however, and she decides to test the waters with Harper at this vulnerable stage.


*Taye Diggs — Harper Stewart
*Harold Perrineau — Julian Murch
*Jim Moody — Uncle Skeeter
*Melissa De Sousa — Shelby
*Monica Calhoun — Mia Morgan
*Morris Chestnut — Lance Sullivan
*Nia Long — Jordan Armstrong
*Regina Hall — Candy
*Sanaa Lathan — Robin
*Terrence Howard — Quentin
*Jarrod Bunch — Wayne
*Victoria Dillard — Anita


The film received mostly positive reviews from audiences and critics. The film review website Allmovie gave the film 3/5 stars, with reviewer Jason Clark stating that while the film has "occasional moments of ripe humor, but it fails to say anything new about troubled weddings or the experience of being an upwardly mobile African-American looking for love." [, Allmovie Review] At Metacritic, the film averaged a favorable 61% rating from critics, and a substantially higher 9.5/10 average from users. [, Metacritic] It currently holds a 72% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and was deemed "impressive" by the site. [, Rotten Tomatoes] Also, the film has earned a B+ average from users at the Yahoo! Movies site. [, Yahoo! Movies] Made on a relatively small budget of nine million dollars, the film went on to make over $34,000,000, nearly four times as much as it cost too produce the picture, by the end of its theatrical run.

The film also went on to receive numerous awards and accolades. Terrence Howard's performance in particular earned much praise from many film critics, and in hindsight "The Best Man" is now considered to be his breakout film. Jason Clark in his Allmovie review even stated that although Taye Diggs does good in his first true starring role, Howard "commands the screen with such abandon that one secretly wishes the film could have been all about his oddly captivating character." All eight of the principal cast members received nominations for the film at the 2000 NAACP Image Awards, however only Howard and Long won (the film itself also won Outstanding Motion Picture).


Infobox Album
Name = The Best Man (soundtrack)
Type = soundtrack
Artist = Various Artists

Released = October 12 1999
Genre = Hip hop, R&B
Length = 63:39
Label = Sony
Producer = Bonnie Greenberg (exec.), Lisa Brown (exec.)
Reviews = *Allmusic Rating|3|5 [ link]

The film's soundtrack, released October 12, 1999, peaked at number 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, and number 16 on The Billboard 200 in 1999.

(*): Indicates songs were released as singles

*The song playing during the scene where Harper and Jordan almost make love in college is "As" by Stevie Wonder, from his classic 1976 album "Songs in the Key of Life". It does not appear on the soundtrack album.
*Also important to the plot of the film is the 1986 song "Candy" by Cameo (from the group's "Word Up!" album). Likewise, "Candy" does not appear on the soundtrack album for the film.
*Although The Roots' "What You Want" plays over the opening credits, the lyrics are edited slightly. This is necessary because the version which appears on the soundtrack album contains a major plot spoiler.

Awards & nominations

2000 Black Reel Awards
*Best Actor (Theatrical) — Taye Diggs (nominated)
*Best Actress (Theatrical) — Nia Long (winner)
*Best Director (Theatrical) — Malcolm D. Lee (winner)
*Best Screenplay, Original or Adapted (Theatrical) — Malcolm D. Lee (winner)
*Best Supporting Actor (Theatrical) — Terrence Howard (nominated)

2000 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
*Most Promising Actor — Terrence Howard (nominated)

2000 Independent Spirit Awards
*Best Supporting Male — Terrence Howard (nominated)

2000 NAACP Image Awards
*Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture — Morris Chestnut (nominated)
*Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture — Taye Diggs (nominated)
*Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture — Monica Calhoun (nominated)
*Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture — Nia Long (winner)
*Outstanding Motion Picture (winner)
*Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture — Harold Perrineau (nominated)
*Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture — Terrence Howard (winner)
*Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture — Melissa De Sousa (nominated)
*Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture — Sanaa Lathan (nominated)


External links

*amg title|id=1:180990|title=The Best Man
*imdb title|id=0168501|title=The Best Man
*metacritic film|id=bestman?q=The%20Best%20Man|title=The Best Man
*rotten-tomatoes|id=1093551-best_man|title=The Best Man

Box Office Leaders USA
before = Fight Club
date = October 24
year = 1999
after = House on Haunted Hill

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