The last time we saw the nine raucous, irresistible college buddies of “The Best Man Holiday” was back in the Clinton administration, when we met them in 1999’s “The Best Man.” Much has changed in the professional fortunes and romantic relationships of the characters since then, but one thing that has stayed the same is their sassy dialogue — from writer/director Malcolm D. Lee — and the cast’s talent for delivering it with panache, nuance, and expert timing. That, and Lee’s unfortunate weakness for trite bromides and pat plot resolutions.
Luckily there’s a lot to keep us entertained before things take a turn for the worse. New York Giants football star Lance (Morris Chestnut) and his wife, Mia (Monica Calhoun), have invited the crew to get together for Christmas at their home, which seems modeled on Downton Abbey. Lance even includes his former best friend and noted author Harper (Taye Diggs) and Harper’s precariously pregnant wife, Robyn (Sanaa Lathan). As you might remember, Lance has had it in for Harper since the original movie because of some kiss-and-tell Harper included in his best-selling, semi-autobiographical novel. Harper, for his part, still has a torch smoldering for self-sufficient career woman Jordan (Nia Long), now director of programming at MSNBC (for some reason, Hollywood scriptwriters’ go-to network). Meanwhile, the advances in new media haven’t made life any easier for married couple Julian (Harold Perrineau) and Candy (Regina Hall), especially after Candy shows up on YouTube in an incriminating old video.