*WARNING: This article contains spoilers.
The nostalgic Best Man franchise is back for one last emotional ride.
Although the first The Best Man debuted in 1999 right before the newest decade, producers were aware that they had something special after the success of the film. Fourteen years later, the sequel The Best Man Holiday was released and fans were ecstatic that they would get an update on their favorite characters further into their careers and lives.
Almost another decade later, the last part of the franchise wasn’t turned into another film like most audiences would have assumed. Instead, “The Best Man: The Final Chapters” would be turned into an 8-part episodic series for fans to receive more backstory and future info about the characters. Although I wasn’t even born when the first film debuted, this franchise has had an impact on all generations. Now, with their final goodbye, this cast and production are going out the right way.
Nia Long, played by Jordan Armstrong, is definitely one of my favorite characters within the franchise. She’s headstrong, a go-getter who rarely takes “no” for an answer when furthering her career, and is herself unapologetically. However, she just can’t seem to get her own
life intact completely. While watching the series, I can admit I was shocked that she and Harper still had intense feelings for each other, even though he’s been married to Robyn, played by Sanaa Lathan, since the second film.
Candace and Julian have fallen into a steady relationship with raising their children together and being the best parents that they can be. However, fans will see how Candace’s and Robyn’s friendship gets closer and how Candace tries to remind Robyn why she’s married in the first place; although she sees that the spark between her and Harper is gone. Harper and Robyn have grown apart and the biggest issue is that their dreams no longer align. Additionally, her intuition for his feelings for Jordan are still lingering even decades later. In the end, Robyn decides to move her and her daughter to Ghana so that she’s able to follow her dream of becoming a chef in a different country and exposing her daughter to a different environment to flourish.
What brings this friendship group back together is the latest announcement of another wedding, and it’s definitely a shocker of who’s getting married. Quentin, played by Terrence Howard, is on a completely different “Zen” journey without being on drugs or indulging in infidelity with his new partner. However, Harper knows that this isn’t the real him that their other friends may be convinced of. At the last minute of Quentin’s crazy weekend before he gets married, Shelby, played by Melissa De Sousa, ends up sweeping him off his feet. And in a romantic twist, Quentin rushes to the airport after initially saying he wanted Shelby to leave and not “ruin his life.” After all of that, he publicly declared his love for her and proposed in the airport. Shortly after they got married, instead of Quentin and his original intended partner (Nicole Ari Parker), Shelby confessed that Quentin is the father of her daughter after hiding this from him after their one night stand.
Since the death of their beloved friend Mia, played by Monica Calhoun, in the sequel, her widowed husband Lance, played by Morris Chestnut, has to handle navigating life without her. Fans will see this retired football star go through meaningless sexual relationships and find his passion and love again.
The Best Man franchise has always been intriguing due to its plot, but also because the characters are extremely relatable. One of the best lessons that audiences can take from this franchise is that the good news is you can fall in love and it actually works out between each other, but the other good news is that if you fall in love, then you can fall out of it. And that has to be okay too. Friendship and family will get you through the toughest times that you couldn’t even imagine, and they’ll still be there when the smoke clears.
“The Best Man: The Final Chapters” is now streaming on Peacock.
By Kori Barnes, University of Southern California