For Hicksflicks.com, Nov. 22, 2013

Looking around for a mid-week movie, my wife and I settled on the new sequel "The Best Man Holiday," primarily because we had both heard/read good reviews and also because it was an unexpected hit. But the tipping point was someone talking on the radio about how religious the film is.

Really? A Christmas-themed film and it's actually religious? We're there.

Of course, it's also rated R, but we decided to chance it anyway.

Big mistake.

First, the general low points: "Best Man Holiday" is filled with scenes depicting rivalries that are unclear unless you saw and remember well the first film, "The Best Man" (1999); it film never passes up a soap-opera cliché it can embrace; it's so predictable that you can see every plot point's "surprise" before it rounds the corner; and at least a couple of characters are so obnoxious it's hard to figure why anyone would ever invite them anywhere, much less to a weeklong sleepover running up to Christmas Day.

Second, the specific lowest points: Some of the sexual humor is so crass and disgusting that it made us cringe; the foul language is fairly constant, including a lot of variations on the f-word and taking the Lord's name in vain, despite the presence of several children; and a sexual video that lands on the internet and embarrasses one of the characters is far too racy and shows far too much (less is more, people).

The cast is good, most of them returnees from the fist film: Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, Harold Perrineau, Regina Hall, Nia Long, etc. But as written and directed by Spike Lee's cousin Malcolm, "The Best Man Holiday" was a real disappointment for us.

And by the way, it's not really religious. Yes, one character prays — a lot. And there is a scene in a church, during a funeral. But to call this film religious is like describing  "Ender's Game" as a typical coming-of-age film.