Markell Spivey

Storyteller

The Best Friday in Fourteen Years (#BestManHoliday)


The Best Friday in Fifteen Years
by
Markell Spivey

If you are expecting a film review of The Best Man Holiday, you should stop reading and go see the excellent film. This is a thank you letter to Writer and Director Malcolm D. Lee. Simply put, Malcolm, you did it. What “IT” is can be measured on all accounts revolving this film. The Best Man Holiday is a precise blend of comedy, drama and romance. While successfully illustrating educated images of African Americans, you explored the truth about love, forgiveness and friendship. Since 1999, you have made millions of people fall in love with Mia, Lance, Shelby, Harper, Candace, Quentin, Robyn, Jordan, and Julian. There are not many storytellers that can convey such captivating characters, but you did it. Just as the original film, The Best Man, this sequel was real…it was powerful…it was truth.

Over the past fourteen years, we have witnessed our local video stores disintegrate into Netflix and DVD kiosks. Our walls of DVDs have been reduced to gigabytes into our smartphones and DVRs. However, it is films like The Best Man Holiday that reminds us to say, “Let’s go to the movies.”

Five times! In 1999, I went to five different movie theatres to see The Best Man…five times (I counted). Hey, I was young and single…still am. Anyway, as I sat in those theatres continuously pretending to have watched this film for the first time, I was drawn into the story of these characters. The ladies were intelligent and gorgeous images of African American women, whom I knew and have seen in my family and community. I connected with the brothers as well; they looked like me, they talked like me and they spoke of my same thoughts and fears. I saw my friends and myself in all of these characters.

The character Quentin Spivey and I shared more than the same last name. Fourteen years ago, I was very much scatterbrain too. Going to school part-time, while working in the telecommunications field, I struggled to pursue my passion as a storyteller (filmmaker). Until at the 2001 NBA All-Star Game, a young kid saw this icon roaming through the crowded arena. I was in such disbelief and tongue-tied, all I could do was reach out and say “BEST MAN!” I went on and on about how inspiring The Best Man was to me. I expressed my passion to become a storyteller (filmmaker). And what did this icon do? Malcolm, you stopped and leaned against the wall to share your knowledge and experiences with a young man on how to pursue his dream. That was exactly what I needed. It was at that moment, I seriously began to believe I could do it. Sure, my parents and family have always been a blessing and very supportive. However, your time and encouraging words helped shape my future.

Fourteen years later, I am still very much like the cast of The Best Man; still single and as honest as Quentin, sometimes noticeably vulnerable as Murch (Julian) and faith-driven like Lance with the determination to succeed like Harp. Yet, one thing has changed…my career. I am a storyteller. My stories are not selling out box offices yet. However, that 2001 fifteen-minute conversation with an icon was the signature plot point in my story. Thank you sir. I owe you.

If you are not Malcolm D. Lee and still reading this with your nosy self, go see THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY!! YOU WILL LOVE IT! #TheLadiesAreStillFine #BlackDontCrack #CheckYourTickets #SupportBlackCinema #GoSeeThisFilm

People, please remember to tell your story. You never know who and how your story can inspire and change one individual. Peace and love…

President Spivey! Kick up your feet Uncle D…Congrats!  President of NAREB #Accomplished #Presidential #NAREB #HardWork #BlackExcellence #Suit&Tie #SuiteLife #Blessed #Love #Spivey #James #Denver #Bmore #BeGreat #BlackBillionaire #ExitRealty #Success #AllBlackEverything  #SuitAndTie #AfricanAmerican #Family #LaFamilia #HeadoftheFamily #NewRules (at Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center) View high resolution

President Spivey! Kick up your feet Uncle D…Congrats! President of NAREB #Accomplished #Presidential #NAREB #HardWork #BlackExcellence #Suit&Tie #SuiteLife #Blessed #Love #Spivey #James #Denver #Bmore #BeGreat #BlackBillionaire #ExitRealty #Success #AllBlackEverything #SuitAndTie #AfricanAmerican #Family #LaFamilia #HeadoftheFamily #NewRules (at Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center)

With just a few pages of the script and a brief synopsis, three filmmakers set out to recreate a scene from Francis Coppola’s film, The Conversation. The film is about a paranoid and personally-secretive surveillance expert (played by Shaun Braxton) who has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered. In this scene, he arrives at his love interest (played by Liz Harlem) house to hmmm…ya know!

Prior to filming, none of us watched The Conversation (an awesome film by the way) So armed with a Canon 5D Mark II and a small light kit, I casted two friends and the five of us had a great day in Harlem USA.

Let me know what you think…

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