The chemistry on screen between the two easily portrayed the friendship that they share in real life. However, in “Jumping the Broom”, they play mother-in-laws from opposite economic backgrounds who reluctantly develop relationships for the sake of their children, Jason Taylor played by Laz Alonso and Sabrina Watson played by Paula Patton.
Although Jason and Sabrina are getting married, the plot revolves around the dysfunctional relationship between Jason’s mother, Mrs. Taylor (Devine) and Sabrina’s mother, Mrs. Watson (Bassette). In other words, this movie has the complete opposite theme of “Waiting to Exhale”.
Bishop T.D. Jakes clearly made the conscientious effort to portray the morals that many religious African Americans cherish in reference to marriage. The couple vows to abstain from sex until they say “I do” which is commendable and proves to be a challege.
The movie begins as the typical and frictional introduction of families during weddings. However, a few twists during the middle of the movie manages to thicken the plot just enough to set it apart from the other wedding-themed movie. Considering the outstanding acting performances of the characters, the script does not do the movie justice or allow the actors to live up to their potential. Meagan Good, Tasha Smith, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and DeRay Davis are all seasoned actors. You would expect to leave the theatre with tears of joy or sorrow based on the casts’ lineup but that is not the case. Instead, the story is very predictable.
Simply put, the movie displays one woman’s (Ms. Taylor’s) distorted view of progressive African American people and the resentment that has built up inside of her over the years. This resentment along with the fear of losing her son to a new wife shows the vulnerability that many parents feel when their children get into serious relationships. Ms. Taylor has no reason to feel offended when she finally prepares to meet the Watsons who welcomed her and her family with open arms. It was not Mrs. Watson’s fault that they had not met earlier. Nonetheless, she greets Ms. Taylor and in return, Taylor insists upon insulting her throughout the entire movie. She’s reminds me of the African American version of Viola Fields played by Jane Fonda in “Monster in Law”. Ms. Taylor refuses to accept that her baby boy is no baby and that her ruthless tactics scare away many women that he dates.
Overall, “Jumping the Broom” receives a rating of 4 out of 5. This is definately a family film for people of all races and economic backgrounds.