'Jumping the Broom' won't sweep you off your feet

May 6, 2011 

The title explains the ethnicity of the characters and the topic.

Paula Patton’s Sabrina and Laz Alonso’s Jason fall in love. He’s from a poor section of New York City, and she’s up-scale rich from Martha’s Vineyard.

They’re going to get married. Her snooty mom doesn’t get along with his uppity mom. The uppity mom hates the bride who is taking her baby boy from her. Snooty mom thinks the daughter is marrying beneath her social status.

-- Local show times, theaters, trailer.

Side plots involving friends and relatives are packed into the slow spots. And there are many, many slow spots.

The film does give Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine a chance to have some fun as mothers-in-law from hell. Bassett does a tightly wound control freak and Devine a meddling loose cannon with zero control of her tongue. Both are terrific actresses who make the most of their limited characters.

Somewhere in Jumping the Broom is a good movie. It just didn’t get made. Produced by Christian TV preacher T.D. Jakes, the film has important discussions inserted into the dialogue about the positives of abstinence before marriage. It has a chance to really explore Christianity and define for skeptics what-would-Jesus-do in difficult situations.

It also addresses how we tend to have negative attitudes and erroneous beliefs about social classes that aren’t ours. This applies to the rich as well as the poor. Terrific topics all, and each is worthy of a deeper discussion than the TV sitcom push of writer/director Salim Akil and his two screenwriters.

Mr. Movie rating: 2 1/2 stars

Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It opens Friday, May 6 at the Carmike 12 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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