Jumping the Broom

Directed By: Salim Akil

Starring: Laz Alonso, Paula Patton, Tasha Smith, Loretta Devine, and Meagan Good

It's nice to see a good black comedy every once in a while.  They've been crowded out so much by crappy Tyler Perry flicks in recent years that I had really begun to miss them.  When I heard about Bishop T.D. Jakes' Jumping the Broom, I got pretty excited.  I thought we had a really good black comedy at hand.  With a cast including Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Mike Epps, and Meagan Good, we've basically got an all-star black movie.  With all these talented black actors in one film, it was a bit too much for me.  After seeing the film though, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed.  Bad acting by Laz Alonso and Paula Patton dragged an otherwise good movie down.

Sabrina Watson (Paula Patton) has some bad taste in men.  She's dropping her clothes for any reasonably good looking guy.  Well, she's finally had enough of this lifestyle of one-night stands, so she asks the Lord to show her the right man.  In return, she'll abstain from giving up "her cookies" until she marries this man.  Sometime later, Sabrina hits a random guy on the streets of New York with her car.  Jason Taylor (Laz Alonso), the guy she hits, is more than just some random guy though; he's the one.  Jason and Sabrina soon find themselves dating and falling in love.  Six months later, they're getting married.  In one short day, the couple will be taking their vows.  The only problem is that the bride-to-be has not met her future in-laws.

Jumping the Broom has some really good things going for it, particularly a strong supporting cast.  Loretta Devine and Mike Epps are absolutely hilarious in their roles.  Both of them always bring big laughs.  Angela Bassett delivers a strong performance as Sabrina's mother.  She's perfected the role of playing a strong black matriarch over the years, so I expected nothing less.  Unfortunately, those compliments for the supporting cast are the only good things I have to say about this movie.

What the supporting cast brings to the table in Jumping the Broom is undermined by the stars' performances and some bad filmmaking by director Salim Akil.  Laz Alonso and Paula Patton have absolutely no chemistry on screen as Jason and Sabrina.  The cook and the bride's best friend (Gary Dourdan and Meagan Good) have better chemistry with very little time on screen.  Now that's a damn shame.  Basically, the leads aren't terribly great actors.  To add fuel to the fire, the filmmakers are limited by the fact that this is a fundamentally wholesome movie.  The movie was produced by Bishop T.D. Jakes, so it's going to be good for the soul.  In and of itself, that's not a bad thing.  However, there are too many overly sentimental moments and lots of cheesy dialogue.  Bad acting sprinkled with a touch of sappy crap is never a good mix.

I normally don't mix church and liquor, but I'm going to have to make an exception for Jumping the Broom.  Despite the fact that there's some really great comedic material here, Laz Alonso and Paula Patton's atrocious acting drags the film down and brings my bar tab up.  Jumping the Broom gets a 0.09% rating.  You'll need a few Arnold Palmers for this movie.  Don't forget the vodka!