Review: Jumping the Broom a Royally Awful Wedding Movie

As dramatically exciting as the reading aloud of a prenuptial agreement

By L. Thompson May 06, 2011 6:00 PMTags
JUMPING THE BROOMJonathan Wenk/Sony Pictures

Review in a Hurry: Politicians concerned about the sanctity of marriage should consider trying to boycott this film, lest impressionable youngsters watch and be led to believe that all weddings are as awful, soulless and interminable as what's onscreen.

A "comedy" about what happens when two beautiful and successful people wish to marry, despite their families being from different tax brackets, Jumping the Broom is as dramatically exciting as the reading aloud of a prenuptial agreement.

The Bigger Picture: Rare is the film that would actually be improved by the presence of Tyler Perry, but lightning has to strike somewhere, and a man in a dress exclaiming "Good afternoont!" would be about a hundred times more enthralling than this overlong dud from faith-based producer Bishop T.D. Jakes. It isn't even the faith that's at issue here—that, at least, would be substance of a sort. Rather, it's 108 minutes of crushing, nauseating nothingness that mark this as perhaps the worst movie of the year so far.

Career girl Sabrina (Paula Patton), upon realizing that she has a penchant for dating cheaters with great abs, vows that if God will send her a perfect man, she won't have sex with him before marriage (implied message to male viewers: nice guys never score).

Shortly thereafter, she hits Jason (Laz Alonso) with her car, and five months later, he proposes when she announces an imminent plan to move to China. He has a hard time waiting for sex, and you might think that could create some narrative tension, but no. Instead, they happily head up to Martha's Vineyard, where the wedding is to be held. But oops! Jason's family are poor, and his mother (Loretta Devine) works at the post office. Sabrina's mom (Angela Bassett), on the other hand, is clearly a snob because she can speak French.

There'd be no movie if the parents actually behaved like normal adults. Aw, hell, there's barely a movie as it is. The moms say a few rude things to each other, and about an hour and a half into this endless slog, a family secret emerges that's almost interesting, or would be if Tyler Perry hadn't just used the exact same plot point.

The title refers to a tradition that supposedly dates back to slave days, though depending who you ask, it may also be a gypsy thing. Regardless, Jason's mom wants the newlyweds to do it as part of the ceremony, while Sabrina does not. Whatever will they decide? Do you care? More importantly, how does the insanely unfunny Mike Epps keep getting cast as comic relief?

If Jakes intended Jumping the Broom to bring people to God, he may have succeeded, because you'll pray for it to finally finish.

The 180—a Second Opinion: Aside from all the boring people there, Martha's Vineyard looks like a nice place to visit.