After nearly a decade of me-too gangster films seeking to out-depress audiences with tales of misery and despair from life on the streets or some California hood, black filmmakers decided in the late 1990s to lighten up and start showing a black cast that wasn’t getting gunned down or complaining about life in the hood with a string of romantic comedies featuring ensemble casts typically drawing from the same pool of 15 young, attractive actors.
One of the most popular of the group was 1999’s The Best Man, which launched several careers and left fans demanding a sequel. With a $34.1 million gross, the film wasn’t a runaway success (the original American Pie grossed $102 million earlier that year), but it was the second highest grossing black film of its time, trailing only Soul Food’s impressive $43.7 million total.
Still, it was better than comedies like The Bachelor, which despite starring popular actors Chris O’Donnell and Renee Zellweger, only managed $21 million.
The cast met in October 2011 for a 12-year reunion sparking rumors that a sequel was in the works. Earlier this year that was confirmed and the first trailer was just released.
And just like any good reunion, I thought it’d be fun to look back at the cast and see what they’ve been up to since 1999…