'Best Man Holiday' Displays Faith amid Adversity

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Universal's romantic comedy, "The Best Man Holiday," pulled in a respectable $30.1 million at its opening, finishing just behind Disney's "Thor: The Dark World."

Critics are not calling "The Best Man Holiday" a family-friendly film because of some of its language, but it still conveys a real celebration of faith in the midst adversity.

It's a story that has taken writer and director Malcolm Lee 14 years to revisit.

"I'm a very slow writer," Lee joked in an interview with CBN News. "I'm a very slow writer. The truth of the matter is there was talk of doing a sequel after the first movie. And it was my first movie, so I did not want to tell the same story because that is what it would have been." 

Lee wanted to give himself time to tell a more complex story that would give his characters time to grow.

The characters include Robin, married and pregnant, played by Sanaa Lathan.

Taye Diggs, the best man in the first film, plays Robin's husband, Harper Stewart.

Diggs describes his character as "committed, but still confused and stressed," emphasizing, "he is stressed."

Nia Long plays Jordan, a single, high-powered television executive who is learning difficult lessons in life and love.

Long told CBN News those lessons are God's plan.

"It (life) is so much sweeter when you have a partner, even if he gets on your nerves, which he will, but take a deep breath," he said. "Love is hard and relationships are hard. God created it this way for a reason -- man, woman, family."

The film, a bit of an emotional roller coaster, is getting good reviews. Audiences find themselves laughing one moment and crying the next.

At the crux of the story is NFL player Lance Sullivan, played by Morris Chestnut.

"When I read the script, it really did tug at the heart strings," Chestnut told CBN News.

His character's motto,"God, family, and football," isn't a huge a stretch for Chestnut.

"I grew up in a family going to the Baptist church," Chestnut said. "I was in church for a long time, so I definitely can draw from my past experiences for that."

Much like the first film, Lance is unshaken by the adversity surrounding him.

Still, the other characters struggle, wondering "Where is God in all of this?" But the answers do come eventually.

"I think that many people struggle with their faith, depending on their circumstances," Lee said. "That is a very real and authentic thing that happens with people."

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Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.