Jumping the Broom review by Melissa Orcine - Cinema Paradiso
Sabrina (Paula Patton) has been living the life of an oversexed bachelorette. But after a debauched one-night stand, she suddenly vows to ‘save her cookies’ until she has decided to marry the right man for her. She runs over Jason (Laz Alonso) with her car and it becomes obvious, he is her soul mate. Months later, Sabrina and Jason are engaged but first, their families would have to meet, and at a pre-nuptial weekend, is where ‘Jumping the Broom’ takes off.
‘Jumping the Broom’ is the debut film directed by TV veteran Salim Akil, a romantic comedy that wishes to be a Tyler Perry movie. It’s a good template for Akil and company but it doesn’t seem to work out. Experienced actresses Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine play the mothers of the bride and groom, respectively, and they play the class warfare to a tee.
To an overindulgent tee, that is. ‘Jumping the Broom’ presents the divide between African-Americans, especially the rich (Bassett and Patton) and the working class (Devine and Alonso), and yes, they too don’t get along. In fact, there are issues and there are many to tackle in this movie. Our eye into their world is Julie Bowen, the wedding planner who can’t seem to get away from the awkwardness all around.
Although film posits itself as a rom-com, its laughs are too far and in between. Everyone in the movie is a caricature; the matriarchs are high-strung snobs, the family relatives are horny intent to hook up with the wedding guests, and the sanctity of marriage becomes a joke from the old marrieds to the young ones just about to embark in such a union. What exactly is the message that ‘Jumping the Broom’ would want to impart?