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"THE BEST MAN"
(1999) (Taye Diggs, Nia Long) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Mild Heavy Minor *None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None None *None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Mild None Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy/Drama: As a first time author plans to be the best man at his friend's wedding, he hopes that the groom and his other college friends don't recognize themselves and their past in the characters of his soon to be published novel.
PLOT:
Harper Stewart (TAYE DIGGS) is an aspiring author whose novel, "Unfinished Business," is going to get some national publicity. While his caterer girlfriend, Robin (SANAA LATHAN), is excited by the news, Harper, is somewhat less so. That's because he's flying to New York to be the best man in the wedding of his old college friends, Lance Sullivan (MORRIS CHESTNUT) and Mia Morgan (MONICA CALHOUN).

While that isn't such a big deal, the fact that the characters and situations in his novel are based on his college friends and their past experiences is a matter of concern. To make matters, worse, Harper has unresolved romantic feelings for Jordan Armstrong (NIA LONG), another college friend and current TV producer, a fact that's rather apparent to his other friends, Murch (HAROLD PERRINEAU) and Quentin (TERRENCE HOWARD).

Leaving Robin at home until the day of the wedding, Harper heads off to spend the weekend with his friends, including Murch's prima donna of a girlfriend, Shelby (MELISSA DE SOUSA). There, amidst the wedding festivities, Harper must deal with a number of issues that arise when his friends recognize themselves and their formerly hidden secrets in his book.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older African-American teens may be drawn to it, as might any others who are fans of any of the cast members, but it doesn't seem likely that this film will be much of a draw to kids overall.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language and sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • TAYE DIGGS plays a novice novelist who's used his college friends and their past exploits as the basis for his book's characters and situations. He doesn't have his girlfriend arrive for the wedding events until the day of the wedding (so that he can see how he feels about a college friend to whom he was attracted), he drinks heavily at the bachelor party and uses strong profanity. We also learn that he slept with his best friend's girlfriend while in college.
  • NIA LONG plays an independent woman who's still attracted to Harper and proposes that they have sex (despite knowing he has a girlfriend). She also uses strong profanity.
  • MORRIS CHESTNUT plays the groom-to-be who uses religion to excuse his past amorous indiscretions and cheating on his girlfriend, but then can't forgive her for her one past one. He also believes a wife's place is in the home and that women shouldn't make more money than men. He also uses strong profanity and beats up Harper in one scene.
  • HAROLD PERRINEAU plays one of Harper's friends who kowtows to his girlfriend's manipulative ways (for most of the film until he finally stands up to her) and gets drunk at a bachelor party.
  • TERRENCE HOWARD plays another of Harper's friends, a smug fellow who smokes several times and uses strong profanity.
  • SANAA LATHAN plays Harper's girlfriend who puts up with his occasionally unfavorable treatment of her.
  • MONICA CALHOUN plays Lance's fiancé, a nice young woman who had a one-night affair with Harper back in college.
  • MELISSA DE SOUSA play's Murch's manipulative prima donna of a girlfriend.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama/comedy. Profanity is extreme with at least 25 "f" words, along with plenty of other profanities and colorful phrases, being used during the film.

    Sexually related dialogue and conversations take place throughout the film, some scantily clad dancers/strippers perform at a bachelor party (with some sexual/suggestive movement), and a sexual encounter is briefly seen (and/or imagined by one character).

    A brief fight involves one character beating up and threatening another (with some mildly bloody results), and bad attitudes are present amongst several main characters. Beyond that, some drinking at a bachelor party (with some drunkenness) and some smoking, the rest of the film's categories are relatively void of major objectionable content. As always, however, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Robin pours some wine into the food she's cooking and has a glass of it as well.
  • Robin and Harper have wine next to the bathtub they're sharing.
  • People drink in a club where we see Quentin and Harper having drinks as well. We then see that Jordan and Murch likewise have drinks.
  • Harper, Lance, Murch and Quentin have beer while playing poker. Later, we see that they've had more beer.
  • The wedding party drinks champagne at the rehearsal dinner.
  • The guys drink shots of liquor at a bachelor party, as do others, and after a while Murch looks drunk. We then see Harper drinking liquor straight from the bottle and later another shot.
  • Jordan tells Harper that she's been drinking shots of tequila.
  • People have wine and champagne at a reception.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Harper's lip is a little bloody after being punched, and his eye is bloodier from the same violence. Later, he has a black eye from this.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Harper has both for including and barely disguising his friends and their pasts in his novel. He also doesn't invite Robin up until the day of the wedding so that he can see how he feels about Jordan (although he tells her he just wants to spend time with his old friends).
  • Shelby manipulates and controls Murch with her feminine wiles.
  • Some may see Lance's philosophy about marriage and working women as having both types of attitude (he believes it's wrong for a woman to make more money than her man, and that a husband should make the money and the wife should stay home and take care of the kids and home). He also uses religion to excuse his past sexual indiscretions and cheating on Mia, but then can't accept the discovery that she wasn't a virgin before they became engaged.
  • Quentin occasionally refers to women as "bitches" and says that they can't be trusted. He also says that God didn't intend for men to be with just one person and then mentions that He wouldn't have "given us all this sperm" and "bitches wouldn't outnumber us the way they do."
  • Some may see Harper as having both for not believing in God.
  • Despite knowing he has a girlfriend, Jordan tells Harper, "I want to make love to you tonight." He doesn't immediately dismiss that notion.
  • As Murch tries to apologize over the phone about going to the bachelor party, Quentin purposefully hangs up the line.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The scenes listed under "Violence" may be just a bit tense for some viewers.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Although none are seen, Murch mentions having to take a gun away from one of his students.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Due to crowd noise, the following should be considered a minimum.
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck is wrong with you?" "Shut the f*ck up," "Go to f*cking hell," "Got busy," "Get freaky," "Smacking bellies" (had/have sex), "Horny," "Nigger" (said several times by black people to black people), "Nuts" (crazy), "Bitches" and "Honeys" (for women), "Shut up," "Screwed up," "Big ass t*tties," "Punk ass," "Jive ass," "Ya'll trippin'," "Bite it" (followed by "Grow it"), "Whore," "Dumb ass," "Balls" (testicles), "A-hole," "I gotta go drain the main vein" (urinate), "Bitch ass," "Go to hell," "Idiot," "Monkey ass," "Bastard" and "Lazy ass."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Although none was heard, a rap song is present that contained some lyrics that couldn't be understood (thus offering the possibility of some objectionable lyrics).
  • PROFANITY
  • Due to crowd noise, the following should be considered a minimum.
  • At least 25 "f" words (5 used with "mother," 1 used sexually), 33 "s" words, 5 slang terms for female genitals ("p*ssy"), 1 slang term for male genitals ("d*ck"), 2 slang terms for breasts ("t*tty"), 27 asses, 19 damns, 13 hells, and 10 uses of "Oh my God," 3 of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ" and "God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Due to crowd noise, the following should be considered a minimum (regarding sexually related comments and/or dialogue).
  • We see Harper and Robin in the bathtub together (with rose petals floating on the surface) with her behind him and him between her legs (his back to her front). She caresses his body with a rose petal and we can occasionally see the top of her bare breasts. He then mentions that in a few minutes he's going to get (what sounded like) a "freak on" with her. As she gets out of the tub, it looks as if we see a glimpse of her bare breasts.
  • Murch asks Harper whether he and Jordan "got busy" (had sex) in college. Murch then mentions "the perfect opportunity to make grass sandwiches" and "a passionate night of lovemaking so intense..." in reference to the material in Harper's novel.
  • We see a flashback of Harper and Jordan, tired from studying, starting to make out. After a return to the present, the flashback continues and we see a shirtless Harper kissing Jordan's neck (her shirt is off, but she's wearing a tank top that shows some cleavage). A malfunctioning CD, however, breaks the mood and nothing else happens.
  • About that, Murch mentions that the two control freaks didn't lose control and "get freaky."
  • Some women at a club show some cleavage, as does Shelby.
  • Lance mentions someone having "big ass t*tties" and then acts like he's rubbing his face between them.
  • It's mentioned that some woman is "saving it" (her virginity) and one of the guys then enthusiastically says that he needs to be hooked up with her.
  • Lance jokes that Jordan (who's independent) is one step from being a lesbian, causing Quentin to respond, "Oh, that's a nice thought."
  • About Harper's pending fame, Lance tells him that he's going "to need a catcher's mitt to catch all that p*ssy coming your way." When the friends comment on his fame, Lance mentions that he's had plenty of "ass" and "how much ass can one man have?" The others say, "A lot."
  • Quentin says that God didn't intend for men to be with just one person and then mentions that He wouldn't have "given us all this sperm" and "bitches wouldn't outnumber us the way they do." He then adds that "There's nothing better than p*ssy except for some new p*ssy."
  • Lance states that he was the first and last with Mia sexually, but the others seem to have their doubts and ask him how he knows. He responds, "Cuz her p*ssy curves to my d*ck." They then question that for "all the sticking and moving" (sex) he's done, that Mia hasn't done the same at least once.
  • About Harper and Jordan, Lance predicts that they'll be "smacking bellies."
  • We (and Jordan) see Harper in his boxers (he's embarrassed) and she looks at him somewhat suggestively.
  • Harper mentions that he's not sure about marriage meaning that your spouse is the last person you'll ever have sex with. Jordan then says "At least you're getting some on the regular." When he asks that she's not "getting any," she says that it's been "six months and counting and more than that if you're talking good sex." One of them then mentions that all work and no play makes Jordan a "horny nut basket."
  • In a flashback, Lance grabs his own clothed crotch and asks his penis, "What the f*ck is wrong with you?" while admitting that he cheated on Mia with other women.
  • Lance tells Harper (about his pending fame) "You won't have to kiss ‘em on the forehead to get ‘em moist."
  • Quentin says that his behavior "don't stop until the panties come down" (referring to the "honeys" who will be at the wedding).
  • Quentin tells Murch that he wants him to get lose and "rip a little booty."
  • Jordan tells Harper, "I want to make love to you tonight." She then adds that she doesn't want to miss out on the opportunity presenting itself to them twice (the first in college). When he mentions that his girlfriend is arriving tomorrow, Jordan kisses him as some incentive, but tells him that he doesn't need to decide right away.
  • At the bachelor party, Quentin appears to be looking through a porno magazine (but we don't see anything). The "entertainment" then shows up in the form of several scantily clad dancers/strippers. They show a great deal of cleavage and wear thong bottoms that show most of their bare butts. They then go up to a seated Lance and rub/shake their crotches, butts and covered breasts in his face. Lance then takes them over to Harper where they continue their "dance" and he shakes his head in unison with their breasts.
  • Another buxom woman, Candy, then comes out and does her suggestive dance in her bikini top and thong bottom. She then goes over to Murch who's drunk, puts her mostly bare butt in his face and then does a suggestive, gyrating lap dance on his crotch (facing away from him).
  • We see a flashback or Lance's imagination of Harper and Mia having sex. As such, we see her up on his lap, with sexually moaning (seen from behind his bare back). We then return to this scene and see her moving on top of him (with more sexual sounds and her bare back). We then see a brief shot of her on her hands and knees (seen from in front of her), biting the sheets with just a glimpse of Harper having sex from behind her. Later, Lance sees several flashes of this encounter.
  • Harper makes a sexual reference stating that "I'm about to blow her back out!"
  • Lance confronts Harper by saying, "You f*cked Mia."
  • Harper shows up at Jordan's room and finds her in a high cut teddy that shows a lot of hip and cleavage. She then tells him that she's been drinking, her hormones are raging and she's horny, but nothing else happens.
  • Robin asks Harper if he slept with Jordan (he didn't, but he doesn't deny that he wanted to when asked).
  • Shelby shows some cleavage in her dress that she wears to the wedding (as does Jordan).
  • As Quentin puts the wedding garter on Shelby, he keeps telling her "Say you like it." Later, we see them in bed together (and shocked that they're there).
  • SMOKING
  • Quentin smokes around five times (once with a cigar), while Jordan's boss smokes once as do some miscellaneous/background characters.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Harper's partially veiled use of his friends and their past exploits in his novel.
  • Harper's treatment of his girlfriend (initially not wanting to commit, leaving her at home, nearly fooling around with a woman from his past).
  • Lance's use of religion as his defense for his past indiscretions, his intolerance for his fiance's one-night affair from many years ago, as well as his overall philosophy of marriage (women stay at home) and income (women shouldn't make more than men).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Tired of Quentin implying that Mia fooled around in the past with other men, Lance overturns their poker table and grabs him in a threatening fashion.
  • Lance throws Harper's book at him and then proceeds to punch him several times. He then smashes Harper against a wall and punches him again. He then throws him across a bed, smashes him up against a window, puts him in a headlock and then smashes him through a door out onto a balcony. There he partially pushes Harper up over the edge of the balcony, threatening to drop him.
  • Jordan smacks Harper.
  • Lance drives Harper back into a wall and then violently overturns a table.
  • Lance squeezes Harper's hand (to the point of pain) while getting him to pray with him.
  • Shelby pushes someone out of the way to catch the bridal bouquet.



  • Reviewed October 14, 1999 / Posted October 22, 1999

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