Movie Review: Jumping the Broom


“Sometimes the only way to get past family drama… is to jump right over it.”

At least four times in the Bible, there are instructions for married couples to “leave and cleave” to one another and separate from their families (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7-8; Ephesians 5:31). Unfortunately, Sabrina Watson and Jason Taylor in their six-month whirlwind romance, didn’t get the opportunity for pre-marital counseling to hear these instructions. Maybe if they had, they would not have invited their family members to their wedding.

After a chance meeting, where Sabrina Watson (Paula Patton—“Just Wright,” “Precious”) hits Jason Taylor (Laz Alonzo—“Avatar,” “Fast and the Furious”) with her car, the two fall quickly in love. A few months later, they are planning their wedding at Sabrina’s family estate on Martha’s Vineyard. Sabrina comes from money, but Jason’s working class upbringing causes quite a stir, especially when the two families meet for the first time, the night before the wedding. These two families, both led by strong matriarchs (Angela Bassett plays Sabrina’s mother Claudine, and veteran actress Loretta Devine portrays Jason’s opinionated, domineering mother), could not be more different, and neither seems willing to cross the cultural divides. Can Sabrina and Jason’s love stand the test of the family’s first meeting?

Television fans will recognize the stamp of director Salim Akil from his work on hit shows like “Girlfriends” and “The Game;” he brings his excellent eye for detail of the African-American middle class experience to the fore with “Jumping the Broom.” This film is a breath of fresh air from the usual fare offered by Hollywood—relatively few stereotypes, a good storyline, a setting typically reserved for white families only. Bishop T.D. Jakes, megachurch pastor of The Potter’s House, serves as producer, but, also, doles out advice to the young couple before they march down the aisle. This is probably the film’s greatest cause for contention; because of Jakes’ involvement with the film, there is a question of whether the film’s content is for Christian audiences.

The film is rated PG-13, and it does earn that rating. While there is no coarse language and no nudity, it is not squeaky clean, to say the least. The film has positive messages about family, and there is a threaded conversation about maintaining abstinence (not purity, sadly) before marriage, but there is plenty of sex talk and innuendo, including numerous references to male erections, as the couples try to avoid temptation. One could easily argue that younger teens should be discouraged from viewing this film; there are plenty of opportunities for the “lust of the flesh” and “lust of the eyes” in this film.

That being said, for the right audiences, “Jumping the Broom” is an entertaining film, and worth taking a look. It is light and funny; who would expect anything less with the likes of comedic actors Mike Epps and DeRay Davis rounding out the cast?

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

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