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The Best Man
Malcolm D. Lee set the standard for middle-class black comedy with this smart, chic feature about a best man whose indiscreet novel scuppers the wedding plans.
Comedy 1999 120 mins
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Harper (Taye Diggs) is an aspiring author whose unfinished draft has been given the seal of approval from Oprah’s Book Club, setting him on the way to success. The only trouble is the book leans heavily on some thinly disguised discretions about his circle of friends and former lovers, which cause all sorts of frictions when out in the open and threaten to derail his best friend’s wedding.
Inspired by The Big Chill, writer-director Malcolm D. Lee set the standard for the comedy-drama around (in Lee’s words) "middle-class characters who happen to be black", paving the way for the likes of Tyler Perry and Lee Daniels. Although produced by Lee’s more famous cousin Spike at the height of his success, The Best Man was still a modestly budgeted production that performed very well at the box office, proving there was an audience for different kinds of African-American stories.
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