When Harper (Taye Diggs) a successful author of his best-selling book “Unfinished Business” proposes to the love of his life Robyn (Sanaa Lathan) the story begins about of group of longtime friends that decide to get together after many years for the Christmas holiday. Robyn is pregnant and the doctors have told her the baby is breach and she may have to have a C section for the health of the child and mother. Harper’s second book failed and his publisher Stan (John Michael Higgins) recommended that he write a biography on his best friend Lance Sullivan (Morris Chestnut) in order to once again hit the shelves as a best seller and make some much needed money for his family.
Mia Sullivan (Monica Calhoun) is married to a very successful New York Giants football player Lance Sullivan and parents of four adorable children, August (Richie Lawrence), Hope (Millie Davis), LJ (Linden Liles-McCurdy) and Faith (Riele Downs). Both have decided to invite their friends to their huge gorgeous home in New Jersey for the holiday. Mia is hoping that the rivalry between old best friends Harper and Lance will mend and along on the way she can divulge a secret to them all before it’s too late.
Jordan (Nia Long) is a successful professional woman working in television who is currently dating the only white guy in the group, Brian (Eddie Cibrian). Some of the white jokes are funny, some a bit over the top yet some of the language used amongst the black characters was quite inappropriate as well in my opinion even though presented humorously but either way it does not hurt the story. Jordan who is very independent once tells Brian that she doesn’t need anyone whereas his response was that everybody needs someone. A very true and realistic statement especially after seeing this film you’ll begin to appreciate life and the special people that surround you in it.
Julian (Harold Perrineau), father of two, works for the Kings County Academy and his business is mainly run by donations but when he loses a two million dollar account he discovers that his wife Candace has a sorted past that has uprooted itself causing issues at work. The issues become elevated at the Sullivan house when Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) and her daughter Kennedy (Isis Moore) make an entrance. Let’s just say there is some bad blood between Candace and Shelby that really creates a cat fight like no other. That is until the dog fight between Julian and Quentin (Terrence Howard) a playboy unsettled and in love with porn and the internet, amongst many other things, kicks in at high speed.
Meanwhile back at the Sullivan house party, Harper has another motive in mind which is to write a biography on Lance, based on his standards of God, family and football. Harper has a wife, a child on the way and is absolutely broke but along the way when things get tough the situation amongst the once best friends becomes tougher. Right from the start the friends all came together for different reasons and although many secrets get revealed some good some bad, true friends, true love always survives the worst of the worst past, present and future. In the end, Christmas is celebrated by all and soon thereafter a new life is sent from above, at a very high speed, on the wings of an angel.
This film is beautiful in so many ways. Great direction, great writing, brilliant character development, a wonderful holiday sound track filled with classics. Just overall a heartfelt story that will have you laughing in one breathe than tearing up in the next. The acting is impeccable from every one of the actors and actresses in the lead and supporting roles with all of them offering a stellar performance. Of course you have some skin shots but nothing that is really taken out of context. Chestnut is at the top of the list with a superb performance; his anger scenes are not only spot on but so believable that you can feel his true inner pain. Calhoun is brilliant as she subjects the audience to her inner struggles both physically and mentally. I’ve always been a huge fan of Diggs and once again he does not disappoint. Howard is absolutely off his rockers bringing much insanity and levity to all his scenes. Perrineau is developed well as a character but for some reason I was not as invested in him as I were the others. De Sousa can really tell it like it is especially when it comes to Hall’s character. Lathan is a good balance for Diggs as is Long for her boyfriend played by Cibrian. Overall this well worth a ticket at the box office story about true friendships and the secrets they hold, the lies they tell yet the pure love they share will make you laugh and cry so make sure to bring a tissue box with you. Written and thoroughly enjoyed even though there is quite a bit going on all at once in this film from start to finish with three paws out of four by Jon Patch.