review for The Best Man on AllMovie

The Best Man (1999)
by Jason Clark review

A ho-hum film by first-time writer/director Malcolm D. Lee, this film is helped immeasurably by its attractive, well-chosen cast and 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. Taye Diggs lends his considerable charisma to his first bona fide lead role, but his thunder is stolen by the invigorating performance of Terrence Howard, who commands the screen with such abandon that one secretly wishes the film could have been all about his oddly captivating character. Overlong and sometimes strident, The Best Man isn't innocuous enough to dismiss easily, but it covers familiar territory in a mostly pedestrian way. Lee is the cousin of writer/director Spike Lee, and the film could have benefited from the latter's electric style and uncanny command of the medium. Though made on a very small budget, the film was quite successful for Universal Pictures, proving there is a market for black romantic comedies with the ability to appeal to the mainstream.