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Home: The Toast

bmhI want to tell you about a movie.

A movie where, whenever a character prays, he does so like a cartoon character: forehead bowed, eyes closed, hands clasped together with unbent fingers in the “I’m praying” position, on his knees.

A movie where the line “Just this once, call me Daddy” inspired me to write 5000 words of Terrence Howard/Taye Diggs slashfic.

A movie where good-looking men wear expensive peacoats all the time, and no character wears just one luxuriously textured scarf when he can wear two.

A sequel to a fourteen-year-old beloved romantic comedy that very nearly beat out Thor: The Mean Black Ship at the box office.

A movie where an evil woman with a witch’s heart and mermaid hair only ever has sex with her bra on.

A movie where, oddly enough, John Michael Higgins gives the weakest performance as Taye Diggs’ weird, mannered agent.

A movie where Morris Chestnut yells at Taye Diggs on Christmas Eve and it’s so intense and affecting that I found myself personally worried about the state of their friendship because I actually, really, profoundly want their friendship to be okay.

A movie where Terrence Howard so charmingly and attractively channels Captain Jack Sparrow that for a minute I entertained the thought of what could have been if he’d been cast instead of Johnny Depp all those years ago.

A movie with only two bad lines of dialogue (“People only have enough attention for 140 characters, not [gestures to novel] 140 characters!” and “Prada?” “Nada”), which is a pretty good ratio.

A movie with enough plot for two and enough heart for six. A movie that is inexplicably rated R, despite having exactly zero nudity in it. Even Shelby apparently does it with her bra on, which is not a habit I would ever have guessed of her.

If you are anything like me (and I have no reason to believe that you are not), you are always, always willing to see a movie with the premise “people who used to be friends but now no longer trust one another are reunited under contrived circumstances in a beautiful country estate.” This is that movie. This is the movie for you if you read design blogs and go window shopping at Christmas time and want to watch enormously good-looking people drink bowls of red wine and wear incredible cashmere sweaters and be Sanaa Lathan at you for two and a half hours. Remember that episode of 30 Rock where Liz talks about how she doesn’t want to join the singles’ flag football team because she’s intimidated by them, “always laughing in their sweaters”? These are the people who are always laughing in their sweaters.

This is the movie for you if you have always wanted to see Taye Diggs talk about Vermont and do a Suave White Guy impression, but did not know how much you wanted to see it until it was happening in front of you.

This is a movie that I saw twice in two days. Both times, I tried very hard to downplay just how much and how hard I cried (the scene with Nia Long holding it together long enough to make it to the bathroom before she starts to lose it was generally the one that tipped me over from quietly sniffing to tears on my neck both times, but it probably started a lot earlier than that) so that the person I was seeing the movie with did not think I was weird. At one point, Terrence Howard asks Taye Diggs’ character a question; Taye Diggs brushes him off and says no. Later in the movie, Terrence Howard asks him the same question; he shakes his head, then nods and almost whispers yes and it is so good I got actual chills in my actual hands. I am crying a little bit right now and it is not even nine in the morning. ACTING.

This movie would probably have been improved if it stuck to only three or four major plot points, but guys, it doesn’t even matter, I love these actors so much, and they are so fucking good at what they do that I would watch another four hours of just dinner parties and impromptu Air Band performances and serious conversations about money in bed.

Even the cliches are good: there’s a character who’s doing the secret-Stepmom-dying and is quietly virtuous about the whole thing, but she still smokes weed and swears and says “it’s not fair” when her resignation and resolve crack in front of her children. Nia Long’s subplot seems like it’s going to be about punishing her for being too good at her career, but it isn’t, and it doesn’t end with her getting engaged. Oh, God, I have to shut up eventually. You have already either seen this movie and have been counting down the days until it was released, or you have only dimly heard of the original and can’t remember what this movie is about. If the former, please stay in the comments all day and talk about how good Sanaa Lathan’s boobs look in this movie with me; if the latter, please legally acquire the original as soon as possible and report back. 

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