May 6, 2011 by  

Jumping the Broom


Jumping the Broom

Paula Patton and Laz Alonso somehow make it to their wedding in "Jumping the Broom."

Starring: Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Angela Bassett
Directed by: Salim Akil (debut)
Written by: Elizabeth Hunter (debut) and Arlene Gibbs (debut)

There’s really nothing to celebrate when the best thing about an African American dramedy these days is the fact that it doesn’t feature Tyler Perry in old-lady drag – or Perry’s name anywhere in the credits for that matter. It’s especially unimpressive since a film like “Jumping the Broom” is committed just the same to exposing every social and racial stereotype it can from its check list and calling it humor.

Directed by Samil Akil, who helms the BET TV series “The Game” about a medical student turned football wife, Broom finds ways to lambaste its core audience during a wedding weekend at Martha’s Vineyard shared by two families with incompatible personalities, tastes and bank accounts.

Loretta Devine plays a mother who doesn’t get why her son (Laz Alonso) wants to marry a girl who’d rather serves oysters than collard greens at their reception. Angela Bassett returns the favor as a mother sickened by the thought of her daughter (Paula Patton) marrying into a family eager to dance the Electric Slide.

Toss in a few black-people-love-chicken jokes, a Kunta Kinte mention, and a script weakened by cliché dialogue, paper-thin relationships, and exaggerated attitudes, and the exchanging of the vows can’t come soon enough.

Grade: D+

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