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OPENS FRIDAY

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During the transitional just out-of-college period, some people manage to begin decent careers, some take up guitar-playing and substance abuse, and others match vows at the altar ’til death—or unforeseen circumstances—do they part. At a recent preview screening of director Malcolm D. Lee’s The Best Man, when an announcer from WKYS asked all the married people in the audience to come up to the front for some free T-shirts, about seven people in the packed theater raised their hands. One guy looked around and then put his back down. By the time the Married Seven got to the stage, someone suggested a ring check. Only one person had one. And most couldn’t even remember what their best man had said during the toast. But whether you’re commitment-shy or not, Lee’s account of two of a group of friends who get married offers an engaging, warm, and humorous perspective on black life and relationships that hasn’t been represented on film often enough. The film’s narrative is woven around lead character Harper’s (Taye Diggs) new novel: Tension among the friends rises when Jordan (Nia Long), his longtime (and unpursued) love interest, gets an advance copy of the book and lends it to the rest of the group. Harper’s characters match the personalities of his old friends exactly, and the novel reveals one secret that could throw a serious wrench in the wedding works. Ponder Lee’s take on relationships, love, and the madness in between when The Best Man opens Friday, Oct. 22. See Showtimes for screening times, dates, and locations. (Ayesha Morris)