Morris Chestnut in The Best Man Holiday.

Fourteen years after the original The Best Man, writer-director Malcolm D. Lee and friends finally got around to making a sequel. The results in The Best Man Holiday are mixed, with a likable cast straining to keep Lee’s script vibrant—until the overly silly end.

Harper (Taye Diggs) is experiencing a lull in his writing career, and looks to get a former friend, NFL star Lance (Morris Chestnut), to OK him as the writer of his biography. (It’s cool to see Chestnut playing a football star; it’s as if his aspiring athlete in Boyz n the Hood never got shot.) So Harper, and much of the cast of the original (including Monica Calhoun, Regina Hall, Harold Perrineau and a very funny Terrence Howard), unite at Lance’s house, where decent comedy and terrible melodrama commences.

The film gets some good laughs, especially when Howard is on the screen. But as a drama, it has a mawkish, Hallmark Movie Channel feel that derails it.

The Best Man Holiday is playing at theaters across the valley.