PAULA PATTON LORETTA DEVINE ANGELA BASSETT LAZ ALONSO MEAGAN GOOD JULIE BOWEN MIKE EPPS ROMEO
JUMPING THE BROOM
Tyler Perry’s success has had a negative effect on other black comedies because his films are far more profitable and they are playing copy cat. Jumping the Broom wants to be a combination of Something’s Gotta Give and Why Did I Get Married II. The cast is a mixture of the usual and Perry’s alum except for the oddly placed white girl television star Julie Bowen. I always wonder where all the white people go in these “black comedies”, but this film debunks that ideology. Mostly a film about two families about to be joined by a marriage, it spends most of it's dialogue bickering, and not the funny Madea kind.
It’s Brooklyn versus The Hamptons as two families come together for a wedding both sides disapprove of. Sabrina (Patton), who comes from a seemingly distinguished family, has met the man of her dreams, Jason Taylor (Alonso), who is an honest and hard working momma’s boy. After six months of courtship the two are marrying in the exclusive upscale neighborhood where Sabrina’s family lives. Jason’s mother (Devine) already has her apprehensions about the marriage, and when the bride refuses to uphold the jumping of the broom tradition she becomes furious. Family secrets on Sabrina’s side also threaten to end the wedding; the entire weekend will challenge both sides to see if they really love one another.
Oscar nominee Angela Basset (Green Lantern, How Stella Got Her Groove Back) was once a respected actress, but has evidently lost her ground to better actors like the in-demand Viola Davis, leaving Basset to fill these stereotypical performances. Hot body actress Meagan Good (Stomp the Yard, Roll Bounce) is another that just shows up at the same time, playing the same type of girl. This brings me back to the film's odd ball, Bowen, who gets most of the film’s best lines. The entire premise of this movie is obviously one we have seen numerous times in many different forms. Jumping the Broom fails to offer anything truly unique or special that those others didn’t already present.
Final Thought – Just a wanna-be Tyler Perry film.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Michael Woody
Dr. Donna Copeland’s
This movie depicts two African-American cultures having to relate to one another on an important occasion, a wedding. The bride (Paula Patton) and groom (Laz Alonso) meet by accident (literally), immediately fall in love, and six months later, they’re to be wed. The bride is from a well-to-do family with a gorgeous home on Martha’s Vineyard, where the wedding will take place. The groom is from a more modest background, but he has made good and now works for Goldman-Sachs. His mother is a frustrated postal worker who has had to enroll in anger management classes. She has definite opinions about the wedding plans, and insists on including “jumping the broom”, a tradition dating back to slavery when slaves used that as a ritual of commitment when they were not allowed to marry. This is only one of the many conflicts among the characters, which make up most of the story. Incredible family secrets are revealed in the process, which adds to the excitement.
I understand that class may become an issue in the black culture, just as it may for whites, and I think this movie was successful in showing the hazards and foibles that can occur among different ethnic groups when they come together. There is inevitably pressure in a culture for everything to stay the same (entropy), even when circumstances call for a change. This hard lesson comes home painfully to the mother of the groom in the film (Loretta Devine), when her insecurities threaten to upend the wedding plans, and her son warns her that she has to change. The filmmakers did a good job in posing the issues associated with this predicament with both humor and seriousness. It’s a strong point for the film. The cast—which includes Angela Bassett as mother of the bride—is another strong point.
The film is very funny at times, and pulls for laughs from the audience. It also draws groans when a character is being unnecessarily harsh or manipulative. The audience I was with seemed to enjoy it thoroughly and gave it applause at the end.
From my point of view, it’s too bad the ending had to be so expected, with every issue (and there were far too many) tied up neatly so everyone could leave with a “happy ever after” feeling. Typical Hollywood. Surely the writers of movies like this could come up with more creative (or realistic?) conclusions. Or perhaps it’s the fault of others who don’t want to risk their investment, ones who think this is what America wants. I don’t think it is.
Donna R. Copeland