Studio: TriStar Pictures
Plot: Two very different families converge on Martha's Vineyard for a wedding.
Cast: Angela Bassett, Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Loretta Devine, Meagan Good, Romeo Miller, DeRay Davis, Valarie Pettiford, Mike Epps
Bottom Line: ****
By Samantha Ofole-Prince
In “Jumping the Broom,” which is directed by Salim Akil (“The Game”), Paula Patton plays Sabrina Watson, a corporate lawyer who gets hitched to a Wall Street broker, Jason Taylor (Laz Alonso), after dating for six-months.
With a wedding in the planning stages, things don’t go as smoothly as planned when their very different families meet for the first time at the plush Martha’s Vineyard. As the wedding draws closer, the unanswered question of whether Jason and Sabrina will “jump the broom” causes friction between the families, who both have very different ideas on the marital concept.
“It’s a tradition that continues to be relevant for a lot of people,” says Akil, who was attracted to the film’s positive message and its realistic treatment of marriage and familial relationships. “When you jump over the broom, you leave what came before on the other side and start new. But no matter which side of the broom you’re on, there will be problems that have to be resolved.”
Written by long-time friends and colleagues Elizabeth Hunter and Glendon Palmer, the story is beautifully told with an engaging ensemble, which includes award-winning veterans like Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine, who play mothers to the bride and groom.
“Glendon and I had been talking about making a movie about African-Americans that we haven’t necessarily seen on screen before,” says Hunter. “There’s diversity in the community that isn’t often depicted in films and we both feel it is important to see that we’re not a monolithic group. There are rich African-Americans, there are poor African-Americans and there is everything in between.”
Sprinkled with enough diverse cinematic ingredients, “Broom” has a little more zest and flavor in contrast to the all too familiar African-American dramas on the big screen.
“One of the things that makes the movie accessible,” chimes Akil, “is that everyone can recognize an uncle or an aunt—at their best and at their worst. We all have larger-than-life characters in our own lives. Since I was lucky enough to have a cast like this, I wanted them to play their own notes within the context of the composition we had. I think they did it beautifully.”
May 8, 2011 - May 21, 2011 Edition