Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Movie Review: Jumping The Broom (2011)

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Year Produced: 2011
Director: Salim Akil
Producers: Tracey E. Edmonds, Elizabeth Hunter, T.D. Jakes, Glendon Palmer, Curtis Wallace
Distributed by: TriStar Pictures
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Laz Alonso - Jason Taylor
Paula Patton - Sabrina Watson
Tasha Smith - Shonda
Loretta Devine - Pam Taylor
Angela Bassett - Claudine
Brian Stokes Mitchell - Greg Watson
Mike Epps - Willie Earl
DeRay Davis - Malcolm
Valarie Pettiford - Aunt Geneva
Meagan Good - Blythe
Gary Dourdan - Chef McKenna
Romeo Miller - Sebastian
T.D. Jakes - Reverend James
Julie Bowen - Amy

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The title of the movie is derived from a tradition practised by the Black Americans in their wedding, where the bride and groom jump over a broom after being married in a ceremony.

The story starts with Sabrina Watson (Paula Patton), who is the only daughter of the affluent Watson family, having an affair with a man who turned out to be a good-for-nothing. Swearing off such relationships, she prayed to God to help her out of situations like these and she promised God that she will never ever get involved in one night stands and will remain chaste until her wedding day.
She accidentally hit Jason Taylor (Laz Alonso) one day with her car while she was momentarily distracted with putting her make up on and he was just running across the road downtown. She got out of her car and was apologetic, and Jason forgave her and agrees to having dinner with her.
They ended up going out with each other, and five months later, they were seen holding hands with each other walking down the streets and Sabrina told Jason about her job offer in China and that she wanted them to remain in a long-distance relationship.
However, Jason refused, much to her disappointment and taking this as a cue for breaking up, she walks away sadly and was surprised to see a group of people singing before her and turned her back to see Jason proposing to her.
Delighted, Sabrina agrees to marry Jason.
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The next scene shifts to Jason's mother, Pam (Loretta Devine) who was complaining about her own son and Sabrina at work to her best friend, Shonda (Tasha Smith) about how Sabrina had never visited her before and now she had to travel to her place for the wedding.
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Shonda talked Pam into letting things take its own course and go along with the flow. Along with Jason's uncle, Willie Earl (Mike Epps) and his cousin Malcolm (DeRay Davis), they travel to Sabrina's house on Martha's Vineyard.
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Jason was supposed to pick them up, but Sabrina had already arranged for her family chauffeur to pick them up while she and Jason engage in a discussion with their parish priest, Reverend James (T.D. Jakes) about their wedding plans.

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Sabrina's mother, Claudine (Angela Bassett), with her high and expensive tastes, took over the reins to run the wedding and engaged a wedding planner, Amy (Julie Bowen), to overlook the overall arrangements and Amy was constantly stressed to meet the demands of the Watsons, yet remaining calm and relaxed all the way.
As Jason's family entourage arrived, Pam was frustrated that Jason was not there to pick them up while Shonda continued to lighten the mood by enjoying the scenery and the weather, along with Willie Earl and Malcolm.
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Claudine engages in a private conversation with Sabrina and shares her worries about their future in-laws and whether Sabrina could get along with her mother-in-law, while Sabrina assures her mum that everything will be all right. When Pam and the family arrives, Claudine sensed Pam's sarcasm and worries for her daughter's feelings. Pam, despite trying to be friendly, found herself on the hostile edge with Sabrina, who was trying to get close to her, much to the surprise of Sabrina. Pam was also annoyed with Sabrina for insisting on her dress code and how she had already decided on what Pam was to wear, just to go along with the theme of the wedding.
Sabrina was delighted with the arrival of her aunt Geneva (Valarie Pettiford), whom she seemed to be rather fond of, but not really approved of by her mother, whose impression of Geneva seemed to be that of her being an immature woman for her age.
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Shortly after, Sabrina's relatives and her bridal party arrives; her maid of honor, Blythe (Meagan Good), Lauren (Tenika Davis) and her friends were appalled by Jason's company of groomsmen with Willie Earl trying to court her Aunt Geneva and Malcolm trying to hit on the girls.
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Blythe, disgusted with Malcolm's constant pursuits, runs off to the kitchen to hide from him and ends up getting acquainted and attracted to Chef McKenna (Gary Dourdan).

Pam, was at the same time, trying to hold her frustrations towards Sabrina and her family, and made a snide comment during the blessings at dinner that night which ignited the anger in Claudine and the two fought before everyone during dinner but was finally stopped by Greg. Claudine, angered by his intervention, speaks furiously in French and beckoning to his business associate, saying that they were both having an affair behind her back.

Greg was upset with her comments and confronted her in the bedroom that night, and the two ended up in an argument, with Greg telling Claudine that they were broke and that the reason he was spending so much time with his associate was not because they were having an affair but they were working on the figures to see how he could save the business, much to Claudine's disbelief. Greg told Claudine that they may not be able to afford the wedding and she told him that she had it covered.
Claudine was then seen approaching Geneva on the beach and the two was seen lashing out at each other, revealing a shocking secret that was subsequently overheard by Pam, who was thrilled.

There were lots of drama going on in the bachelor party as well; with Sabrina and Jason, arguing about the jumping the broom tradition which Pam wanted in their ceremony and Sabrina refused to do it despite Jason's persuasion. Then Malcolm demanded an explanation from Jason on why he was not asked to be the best man and Jason lashed out bluntly that he never considered them as being best friends and that Malcolm is always only there for the money and that angered Malcolm. Sabrina stormed off during the party after their argument and Jason ran after her, trying to apologize and make up to her. She refused to open her room door to him, and he sent her text messages and she eventually forgave him.
To add to the drama, Chef McKenna and Blythe were having a rendezvous in the kitchen that night and while they were busy kissing, accidentally sets fire to the kitchen, and woke everyone up.

The next day, the boys were having a friendly match of volleyball on the beach and Pam was debating on whether to let Sabrina in on the secret she overheard the night before while Sabrina was just so enthusiastic to get Pam fitted into the dress. During the fitting, they were surprised by Jason who was hurt by Malcolm and Pam finally lost it when Sabrina was trying to tend to Jason, pushing her away.
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In the heat of the argument, Pam told Sabrina that she does not even know who her parents were and the confused Sabrina turned to both her parents and Aunt Geneva who were standing behind her.
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Judging by their looks, Sabrina sensed something is wrong and ran off when Claudine and Geneva tells her that Geneva is her real mother, and Sabrina, unable to take it, decided to call off the wedding and ran out of the door.

Jason turned onto Pam, and told her that he is now a grown man and that he is to be treated like one, and that she should not meddle with his decisions. He asked Pam whether she is happy with the overall outcome after her revelation and then he, together with the Watsons, set out to search for Sabrina.
Geneva was the one who was contacted by Sabrina, who demanded to know the whole truth from her and Geneva soon told her the story about how she was young and in love with a man whom she met in Paris and she thought that he was the one to spend her life with and to travel around the world. Then she found out that he was married with a kid, and she left him, only to realize that she was pregnant and on her own. She came home, and due to her unmarried status and her family's conservative traditions, it was decided that Geneva's pregnancy should be kept a secret and her child should be given to Claudine and Greg, who were already married and wanting a child, and were more capable of supporting a child.

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Jason finally found Sabrina and made her promise to never leave him ever again. They reconciled and Sabrina rushed home to get dressed in time for the wedding. She found a broom with a note left by Pam who apologized for her actions and that she is returning home, and she sent her blessings for their wedding.
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In her wedding dress, Sabrina runs out again to catch Pam getting into the car in time and begs her to stay for the wedding and the two hugs each other.

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Jason and Sabrina finally married in a ceremonious wedding and they even jumped the broom, much to Pam's delight and everyone enjoyed themselves in the reception and even did the cupid shuffle. Shonda found her love interest in Sabrina's younger cousin, Sebastian and she finally accepted him, and Claudine and Greg reconciled, with Claudine telling him that she had savings which could fund the wedding and to help him out with the business, and it was all in all, a happy ending.
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Christy's Review:
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A simple storyline, and the type of movie that you know where it is going and how it is going to end, but still able to tug on your heartstrings once in a while though. However, the annoying part was how both mothers seemed to always be in the way of those light-hearted moments and just takes the whole joy out of the movie, sucking that joyous mood. It is as though they were just competing to see who could make their kid more miserable, and it gets annoying at one point.
It was a overall rather enjoyable movie with a light note, but I find that the characters could really irritate you at times as well, but well, weddings do tend to come with a little family drama, right?

Likes about the movie:
The overall ambiance of the wedding planning in the movie, with the family and bridal party cheering and toasting to the soon-to-be newlyweds, it was just so lovely and I could even feel the joyous mood.
Claudine, Sabrina's mother was definitely a mother to cheer for, as she was just so concerned and anxious about her daughter's future, like most mothers would and it just brings that warmth in your heart, although she is not her biological mother.

Dislikes about the movie:
The annoying antics of Willie Earl and Malcolm, I mean, if I were the bridal party, I would just be equally disgusted at them as well. Also, Pam seemed to be more of a destructive mum rather than an insecure one and it's like she's there, just preying and waiting to strike at any happy moment in the movie. I mean, what's with her, she's a mother, why would she want to hurt her own son?

The Verdict?
Yeah, a good watch nevertheless, especially if you are a soon-to-be bride to learn about the drama which is about to enfold (or hopefully not), or if you are newlywed just looking for some good laugh. If you are neither, well, good to learn that weddings are not all about two people alone and it is fact :)
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