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Film / The Best Man

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The Best Man is a 1999 comedy film starring Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, and Sanaa Lathan. Spike Lee produced the film, and his cousin Malcolm D. Lee directed.

Up-and-coming author Harper Stewart (Diggs) travels to Los Angeles for a wedding and is forced to deal with the fallout once his friends start to recognize themselves in his thinly-veiled autobiographical novel. A sequel, The Best Man Holiday, was released in 2013.

No relation to the 1964 political drama starring Henry Fonda, or the Gore Vidal play from which it was adapted.



  • Ascended Extra: Candace/“Candy”, the stripper that Murch falls for, plays a small role in the original film as she isn’t introduced until the third act. However, she has a much larger presence in the sequel with a story arc of her own.
  • Baldness Means Sickness: Mia looks very good for a terminal cancer patient until she takes off her wig to reveal that she's bald.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Subverted with Mia, who spends most of the sequel looking gorgeous, despite being cancer-stricken. . .until she takes off her wig and reveals that the chemotherapy has left her bald. Even so, she still looks much better than any terminal cancer patient would.
  • Big Man on Campus: Lance, in the college flashbacks. Winds up translating to his later life as a football star.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: Robyn gives birth just after Mia's funeral.
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  • Black Gal on White Guy Drama: Actually averted with Jordan and Brian. There's some mild teasing of Brian from the other guys, but their issues stem from Jordan's stubbornness.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Mia, indicating how ill she is.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Murch couldn't hold water in a bottle.
  • Career Versus Man: Jordan.
  • The Casanova: Quentin.
  • Dance Party Ending
  • Easily Forgiven: At first. The first film strongly insinuates that Lance forgave Harper over his take in the affair but the sequel showcases that no matter how genuinely sorry Harper is, it will take a long while before Lance would truly forgive him.
  • Evil Redhead: Shelby.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: used for the college flashbacks.
  • Floorfilling Song and Dance: The movie ends with everyone doing the Electric Slide to "Candy" by Cameo.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: More like the girlfriend nobody likes. Shelby is met with general disdain from the group, particularly Quentin. Q shows shades of this as well.
  • Happily Married: Subverted with all the married couples in the sequel. While ostensibly happy together, the reunion dredges up some underlying issues and causes tension. Regardless, Lance and Mia are the couple with the strongest relationship, but it is tragically cut short as she is dying of cancer.
  • Henpecked Husband: Julian. Shelby has a tendency to run right over him, and he just goes along with it.
  • Hypocrite: Lance cheated on Mia left and right, but is so enraged at her one instance of infidelity—which happened as a result of his behavior—that he's ready to call off the wedding.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: "Candy"
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: Quentin's philosophy.
  • Men Don't Cry: Averted by Lance during his wedding ceremony and after Mia's death
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Lance would have murdered Harper with his bare hands had Q not intervened. He lampshades this later and Harper barely manages to talk him down from finishing the job.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: In the sequel, there is still tension between Lance and Harper over Harper sleeping with Mia, despite it being 14 years since he learned about it and roughly 20 since the incident itself. Similarly, there is friction between Robyn and Jordan despite 14 years since Jordan and Harper almost slept together.
  • Second Love: Robyn to Harper. Jordan is arguably his first, despite them never having even officially dated.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Lance expresses as much during a game of spades withthe boys.
  • Moment Killer: The skipping CD.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Mia.
  • Roman à Clef: Harper's novel.
  • Ready for Lovemaking Jordan and Mia, separately.
  • Sequel Gap: 14 years between the original and the sequel.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Candace is quite classy and well-dressed, when she isn’t working as an exotic dancer.
  • Shirtless Scene: Harper. A couple times, actually.
  • Spear Counterpart: To black female-centered films like Waiting to Exhale.
  • They Do: Lance and Mia...and Harper and Robyn...and Murch and Candace.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Jordan and Harper.
  • With Friends Like These...: Quentin. None of the friend group can seem to tolerate him for too long, and his only role boils down to "start drama and dip out." His only truly redeeming actions, aside from his charm, is his saving Harper from almost certain death after Lance read his book and figured out he and Mia slept together, his pushing Murch to stick up for himself against Shelby, and lastly - rescuing Harper and Robyn out of financial ruin by paying off their debts, in the sequel. With no strings attached, other than Harper having to jokingly call him “daddy”.