Now that we've all watched feel-good holiday sequel The Best Man Holiday, it's time to reflect on the lessons in love, friendship and forgiveness that we're most reminded of. (Spoiler alert: If you didn’t make it to the theaters this weekend, please don’t read any further.)
There Are No Good Secrets In a Marriage (or Friendship)
In both films, Harper (Taye Diggs) made his share of mistakes, and they all evolved around keeping secrets from the ones he loved and hiding his pain. When Harper didn’t tell his pregnant wife Robin (Sanaa Lathan) that he’d lost his job, was secretly planning a new book on Lance (Morris Chestnut) and still quite close to old crush Jordan (Nia Long), he betrayed her three times over, and it nearly broke her heart. Plus, not revealing to his friends that he was struggling financially and needed help, only made it more difficult for him to truly embrace the holiday spirit. The truth always sets us free, even when it’s tough to swallow.
'Mother' Isn’t Just a Title, It’s a Job
Raise your hand if you wanted to give Shelby (Melissa de Sousa) a good talkin’ to the moment you saw how poorly she interacted with her daughter. Right, us too. Having children is a gift, a blessing and the best job you’ll ever be hired to do. If you don’t put in the work, who will? Loving and cultivating your children is never something that should go on the backburner – it’s your number one responsibility. Case closed.
A Real Man Will Forgive and Forget Your Past Mistakes
We already knew Julian (Harold Perrineau) loves his wife Candace (Regina Hall) for who she is and not in spite of her past as a stripper, but when we watched them endure their latest struggle (her racy pay-for-play sex encounter posted to YouTube), there was a bigger takeaway: Everyone has a past—some more wholesome than others—but the true test of undying love in a marriage is about always being big enough not to hold judgments against the person you love, even when old skeletons fall out of the closet.
Attempting to Destroy Someone Else’s Happiness Will Only Deplete Yours
Shelby obviously wasn’t over Julian, and the fact that he chose to spend his life with Candace and not her. It happens, and it’s understandable. But then she chose to spend her time together with the gang meddling in Julian and Candace's marital woes and flirting and flaunting to grab his attention and she wound up looking in the mirror and seeing all the ugliness inside that was outshining her beauty. When someone tries to hurt an ex they feel betrayed them by ruining their new relationship, they lose twice.
You Don’t Have to Be Alone to Be Independent
Jordan never compromised on her ambitions and her dreams, and in return, she achieved the career success that she deserved. Yet her victory felt bittersweet because in the process she somehow came to believe that never needing the love of a man was one of the reasons she made it to the top. Wrong. Her hard work got her there, but as she learned, it’s love that fills up the rest of your cup – be it from friendship, family or a relationship. Blocking those blessings in favor of other wins will only leave you feeling empty and alone with your success.
Friendship Cannot Exist Without Forgiveness
Harper and Lance were best friends, like brothers, until Harper’s betrayal with Lance’s wife Mia (Monica Calhoun) created a seemingly irreparable rift between them. Mia understood that Lance needed the kind of love he and Harper once shared to keep him strong and to help him face a world without her in it, even when Lance himself was too angry to see this. We didn’t begin to see the Lance we fell in love with in The Best Man until his character began to do the work and repair the broken bonds with his oldest friends. Put simply: You will have to forgive the friends you love the most for something, someday, and being unable to do so will only change you both in the end.
Friendship Brings Out the Best In Everyone
If watching the film made you want to reach out to an old pal you haven’t been close to in years, you weren’t alone. When life gets busy or messy it’s easy to watch the time fly between the moments you share with the friends you love dearly, but we must all remember that’s not an excuse to pretend you no longer need friends. You do, and you will, especially to get you through the hard times in your life and to be there by your side to help you celebrate the good times too.
We Lose Loved Ones, But Their Legacy Never Dies
Anyone watching this movie needed a tissue (or three) to make it to the end as they watched the old friends deal with their grief over losing Mia in such an unexpected way and dealing with their individual regrets thereafter. Death happens, but what your loved ones really want most after their passing is for those who loved them and are grieving to come together and always remember the legacy that they left on the world – there’s no greater way to honor them in your heart.
What was your reaction to the film? Were you reminded of a life lesson? Tell us below!