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Jumping the Broom
- Director: Salim Akil
- Release Date: May 2011
- Run Time: 107
- Genre: Comedy
Sometimes a good film comes along portraying class conflict in the lives of African-Americans. “Jumping the Broom” does just that as Brooklyn meets Martha’s Vineyard. It is an especially punctuating film given the current US President’s penchant for expensive, out of place, vacations on the Vineyard in the recent past. Paula Patton and Laz Alonso play the diminishingly happy couple to be married in the midst of fireworks between matriarchs from the soon-to-be united clans.
Angela Basset plays the wealthy Claudine. Pam, the other mother, is played by Loretta Devine. They are the mothers-in-law-to-be and they are worlds apart. Jason’s mama works at the post office while Sabrina’s mother is well-ensconced in high society. And it shows when Pam pulls out the broom, a traditional African-American wedding symbol of shared domestic life beginnings. Too old school and backwatery for Claudine’s taste it becomes a source of pre-wedding tension.
However, the film delves deep into the intricacies that weddings seem to accentuate. Claudine is sure her well-to-do hubby bubby is cheating on her. Sabrina and Jason get into a scuff. And a younger gent is finding a great deal to be interested in an older woman who seems to want to find her groove this wedding season. There is plenty of hurried conversations under the pretense of everything is just fine kind of pre-wedding chatter.
Of course, the greatest tension comes from the very premise of a quicky wedding between two people who have not met each other’s parents. Whoopsie! Big oversight in most situations where money and position are involved. Trusting the future son-in-law when he doesn’t have money is a big factor in whether the wedding happens at all. And if the future daughter-in-law does and the groom’s mama doesn’t, there is going to be more than a broom to jump. This film embodies hoop jumping for everybody to keep up with each other and try to have a good time. I was exhausted as the film wound down to its finish.