Weddings can be the most stressful experiences in a newlywed’s lives, but it can also be the most funniest experiences when you look back on it. Unfortunately, Jumping the Broom, which is new to Blu-ray, isn’t really all that funny and the stress of the wedding overpowers any humour that might have been there in the first place, leaving a very slanted movie.
Jumping the Broom tells the story of two African-American families who live on opposite sides of the social circle and have to get together for a marriage in the town of Chilmark on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Downtown working-class mom Pam Taylor gets very upset when her son Jason announces that he is getting married to Sabrina Watson at the last minute. Sabrina, who belongs to the Watsons, an uptown rich family led by Claudine Watson, and just as upset as Pam when her daughter Sabrina announces the marriage at the last minute. Both moms are upset also because they barely know each other's family and the wedding at this point is only a day away.
The humour in the movie is not bust out loud, it’s actually very harsh and disturbing – especially Pam, who is unsettling as she trashes the wedding day in a fit of jealousy and pride. If it wasn’t a movie that was destined for a happy ending, Pam would have ruined the wedding and the lives of both her son and his fiancé.
The cast was great and the production top-notch, but I just couldn’t help feeling as though this movie went down the wrong path. It didn’t need to be as wishy-washy as a Jennifer Lopez movie, but the harshness was too harsh and the comedy was not enough to go beyond a slight chuckle.
The best part of the film was learning about the custom of jumping the broom, which Pam passionately fought for in the film. The custom is derived from the African American tradition of bride and groom jumping over a ceremonial broom after being married. This practice dates back at least to the 19th century and enjoyed a revival largely due to the 1977 television masterpiece Roots.
Jumping The Broom needs a little more “downtown” and a little less stress to become a must-watch movie.