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Jada Pinkett Smith,
Harper's autobiographical novel is almost out, his girlfriend Robin desires commitment, and he's best man at the wedding of Lance, a pro athlete. He goes to New York early (Robin will come for the wedding) to hang out with Lance and other friends, including Jordan, his former almost-lover, now in media and privy to an advance copy of the book. The men discuss women, never facing their own double standard; Jordan wants to try again with Harper, at least for one night; and Harper fears that Lance will read his book and learn that the bride-to-be slept with him once to avenge Lance's many affairs. Can Harper mature before Lance kills him, Jordan seduces him, and he loses Robin? Written by
I saw this five years ago on DVD and grabbed it the other day in the video store wanting an oldie/goodie. So tired of watching homogenized films about stealing the groom from the bride; cheating on the bride-to-be while on a road-trip in wine country; the sad/depressed bridesmaid/maid-of-honor tragically gets dumped by her escort; blah-blah-blah. What this film offers us instead is something in the eyes of four Af-Am buddies who get together before one of them ties the knot. And there are no race cards pulled. The film does not zero on one of the characters and their drug/alcohol problem, or gang-related problemos, or any stereotypical stuff like that. No- what Malcolm Lee did instead was deliver us with an ensemble cast who just happen to be black, mix in a smooth R & B soundtrack with it and a give us a fun premise.
It's simple: Harper (Diggs) is on the brink of publishing his first novel with characters loosely based on his friends from college. He flies to New York to get together with his buddies before attending his friend's wedding. During that time, he encounters an old flame that got away; the changes in ideology and values with others. But on the night of the bachelor party, Lance (Chestnut) gets his paws on a copy and reads it, puzzling together the composites while blaming Diggs for cheating with his fiancée.
Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Dashon Howard, Harold Perrineau, Monica Calhoun, Sanaa Lathan, and the rest of all the cast get the fattest props because without their acting, this would've been a train wreck. What makes these characters so unique and human is that they're not stereotypical caricature's and each of them all evolve their own style. Taye Diggs is the quiet pragmatist of them all, yet he's no dork. Morris Chestnut is Lance the football "player"/groom-to-be. Harold Perrineau is the hopelessly, pathetically whipped brother-man with heart and Terrence Dashon Howard (from this year's "Crash")steals every scene he's in as the cynical but cool cat musician buddy. Nia Long is the former flame of Taye Diggs with Sanaa Lathan as his girlfriend.
Yeah, the story is a little predictable. Yeah, it's a little lewd and sexist (the scene at the poker table, but I love those lines: "Bite it!", "Grow it!"). The very ending is something we've seen before, yet it's funny anyway. Only problem was that this film was probably labeled as a "black film" at the time and that was probably why it received such poor box office (a'la "Waiting to Exhale", "Boomerang"). Perhaps Hollywood wasn't ready to see that and preferred a movie about a suburban, white, dysfunctional family instead. Oh, and gave it Best Picture, too.
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