Film Review: Jumping the Broom

1 Nov

The film Jumping the Broom begins with a cliché boy-meets-girl and proposal scenario. The film has a decent cast, which features a jittery wedding planner played by Modern Family’s Julie Bowen, who expresses the same perfectionist nervousness as she does in the sitcom. The main focus of the film is the wedding of an upper class mixed black family’s daughter Sabrina to a man from a lower class African American family after only six months of dating. The film hints at differences within the African American culture that can be picked up on right away with not so subtle clues, such as dress and conversation style. The film is also about the integration of different socioeconomic classes via marriage.

Typical mother and daughter-in-law tension is set into motion within the first 30 minutes of the film, and the mother of the groom does not hold back her opinions and her desire for control, as seen in her ostentatious rehearsal dinner prayer and her referral to the bride’s family as “bougie.” It is also stressed that she has undergone anger management courses.

The title comes from the groom’s family tradition of jumping over a broom, which stems from the historical unions of slaves. It is a tradition that they see as “a necessity to black culture.”

While the film has a thin plot, it moves at a decent sitcom pace and acts as another family problems movie. It contains nothing novel, yet it is not completely dull, like a crossbreed of Meet the Parents and Guess Who. Broom follows the traditional marriage romantic drama formula but overreaches a bit in some places. The film finds its initial support in expected stereotyping within the two worlds colliding and moves into intensified and heated family drama that builds throughout the wedding weekend. Then there is the classic self-doubt from the bride.  Sabrina says, exasperated, “If it wasn’t for your mother I wouldn’t be questioning if you are the man I want to marry.” However, issues get cured, per usual, the wedding goes on in Martha’s Vineyard with smiles galore, and dancing ensues.

The film is somewhat injected with religious beliefs, such as Sabrina promising to save herself for marriage after a few mistakes in her past. Broom also is fairly low on the raunchiness scale and is void of overdone explicit scenes. Overall, the film was a mediocre matrimony piece. While it was not grating, it leaves the audience satisfied when it is over, but primarily because it is over.

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