HOLLYWOOD—Talk about some enthralling entertainment. I’ve never seen a movie transition into a limited TV series. I’ve seen plenty of TV shows or series transition into the cinematic world, but not the opposite. “The Best Man” was a critical hit in 1999. Fourteen years later we got its sequel “The Best Man Holiday” which was incredibly entertaining and a satisfying sequel well worth the wait. Fast-forward nearly a decade later and we have “The Best Man: The Final Chapters” which is a fitting end to a franchise that has gotten progressively better since it’s original.
I must admit you have to see “The Best Man” or “The Best Man Holiday” before you tackle the limited TV series or collection of mini-movies as I call it because ‘The Final Chapters’ will present you with all the information you need to know to understand these characters and where the franchise is headed for its conclusion. If we’re talking about casting, Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Terrance Howard, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Regina Hall, Melissa De Soussa are all iconic here. The characters you have come to love and some who you have come to hate are better than ever in this final curtain call.
Just to give you an overall of the narrative in the last film it ended with Quentin (Howard) announcing that he was getting married. Who he was getting married to was left up in the air? Would it be Shelby (De Soussa), the woman that Quentin has had a love-hate relationship with or is it someone else? Let’s just say it’s not Shelby, but she doesn’t make it easy for Quentin to walk down the aisle. Harper (Diggs) has gotten his successful novel Unfinished Business to be optioned into a movie, which is putting a slight strain on his marriage to Robyn (Lathan), who is juggling to be a mother and step outside of her husband’s shadow.
Julian (Perrineau) or as he’s best known by his pals as Murch has become the dotting father to his two daughters, and has lost his voice as a husband and man to a degree, as Candace’s (Hall) career and educational studies are front-and-center. Then we have Jordan (Long) who is longing to be at the top of her career field, just as Lance (Chestnut) is still spiraling and grieving from the loss of his wife Mia. Yes, all of our characters have plenty going on people, but these 8 episodes that range anywhere from 42 to 50 minutes gives fans so much to salivate, drool and anticipate.
Look, I will say it right now; I watched the entire 8 episodes in a two-day period and loved every moment of it. I have not been so entertained watching someone in years. I wanted so much more, but I was still satisfied with what I was given. I mean you have issues involving racism, police brutality, marriage, divorce, child rearing, alternative medicine, ageism, family, sex, success, corporate American, LGBTQ issues, gender inequality the list goes on and on and the writing is stellar here. Director Malcolm D. Lee gives fans of the franchise everything they want and so much more.
Do I wish it was a simple movie that clocked in a little over 2 hours? Yes, but then I reflect back if we had a movie we wouldn’t have seen such meaty character development and these various storylines clash and culminate in the final episode that is so intense you get references to that infamous Oscar slap by Will Smith, Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul” (I don’t personally think that’s a great song, but I have no energy to argue) and so many other cultural references that you laugh out loud at them, while at the same time wondering what drama is going to be thrown your way next that leaves you on the edge of your seat.
“The Best Man: The Final Chapters” proves with the right mix of characters and strong dialogue, exceptional narrative direction you can take a hit classic and end things on a climatic note that is better than the first two films. Carve out 8 hours from your day or at least 4 hours in two consecutive days because trust me once you watch one episode, you’re going to watch another and then another and another before you wrap up the series because you want to know how it all ends.
Does it give you the satisfaction you want? Yes, but there are a few things I would do differently if I was writing, but fans of the films will enjoy how things wrap and you cannot ask for anything else. “The Best Man: The Final Chapters” is currently streaming on Peacock.