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A Hollywood Weekend

Lapacazo Sandoval | 11/7/2013, 2:52 p.m.
This year, it seems that the industry has taken a deeper interest in films depicting the past struggles of African-Americans
"Black Nativity"

Hughes himself said, “I’d rather be a lamppost in Harlem than the governor of Georgia,” and the filmmakers used our lush section of the island beautifully. More on this in the coming weeks.

These films will be music to the studios’ ears, because both of these new classics have soundtracks that make you stop, groove, sing and love. The selection is so great that the songs will be sure to thaw the chilliest of hearts, and I don’t require a crystal ball to know that both films will be on the top of the season’s must-have-gifts list.

“The Best Man Holiday (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” is packed with signature holiday-themed tunes: Blige’s “This Christmas,” Mario’s rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Fantasia’s “What Christmas Means to Me,” Jordan Sparks’ “Christmastime to Me” and Emeli Sandé’s take on “Winter Wonderland,” just to name a few.

One of the musical showstoppers is Anthony Hamilton and Marsha Ambrosius’ heartbreaking take on Stevie Wonder’s timeless song “As.”

Lee has a sincere respect for music and understands the emotions it added to “The Best Man Holiday.”

“I love music,” Lee shared. “While I was writing the screenplay, I was listening to Christmas music. A lot of Nat King Cole [and] Marvin Gaye, and many of these songs were written into the movie where we gave them updates. The sound that is created was integral to the story. It’s very much the fabric of the movie.”

The soulful, gospel- and R&B-infused soundtrack for “Black Nativity” is packed with charming musical surprises. It was engineered by the masterful musical hands of Raphael Saadiq and the soul-probing influence of Lemmons. “Kasi stalked me,” Saadiq stated with a Cheshire Cat grin.

“I did stalk him,” Lemmons unabashedly confirmed. “I heard the film’s score in my head while I was writing, and I knew that I needed him, so I got him.”

This soundtrack contains an. interesting detail: Whitaker sings, and he sings well. The song on which he sings is “Be Grateful,” and he holds his own with powerhouse Jennifer Hudson, Luke James and Latimore.

Back to good gossip. I didn’t spend two days in chic Beverly Hills just to return without juicy tidbits. I know which of the “The Best Man Holiday” cast have crushes on each other and how they really spent their downtime in Toronto and what they dished about between setups on set.

I will spill the beans on which actor-couple will be featured in a new film about single mothers and which of the divine nine will appear in upcoming episodes of “Hollywood Husbands.” I know, and I will dish.

Plus, I’ll be spilling the beans on what really happened to Gibson’s film project on the late Martin Luther King Jr. and how he felt when the news broke that Oliver Stone is teaming up with Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx on the King project, which has received a green light.

Finally, I will share why Howard, who plays the irresistible and unpredictable Quentin, was missing in action at the junket. I know, New York, and soon you will too!