Monday, May 23, 2011

Movie Review: Witchy Mothers Ride Brooms

Jumping the Broom movie poster.  Image property of TriStar Pictures.
Jumping the Broom AVERAGE

Paula Patton stars as Sabrina Watson, an uptown girl who is tired of one-night stands.  In an annoying narration we discover that she makes a promise with God that the next man she sleeps with will be her husband.  God seems to answer that prayer by sending Jason Taylor (Laz Alonso) into her life.  She hits him with her car and then it’s love at first sight.  A little cheesy right?  But it gets better, I promise.  After months of chaste dating Jason proposes and the two instantly begin to plan the wedding.  Everything is rushed because Sabrina is supposed to move to Japan for work, and they want to go together as husband and wife.  Also they want to have sex.  Wouldn’t you?  They’ve been dating like 6 months or something…

Anyway, the wedding is happening so fast, in fact, that the big weekend comes and the two families are meeting for the first time!  And oh how these two families clash!!  Sabrina’s family is extremely rich living on Martha’s Vineyard, and Jason’s family… well, isn’t.  The movie focuses less on Jason and Sabrina’s relationship and more on class differences, family secrets, and ethnic roots.  Jason’s mother (Loretta Devine) can’t stand the Watsons mostly because she feels like they have forgotten their heritage and are taking her son away from her.  She is appalled that they once owned slaves and that Sabrina doesn’t even want to “jump the broom” which is an African American tradition, much like Jewish people breaking glass at their weddings.  Sabrina’s mom (Angela Bassett) looks down on the Taylors because they are poor, uncultured, and oftentimes rude.  However, the movie reveals a much less glamorous side to the rich Watsons as we discover some of their family secrets, which are much too juicy to reveal to you right now.

The movie is essentially a comedy, mixed with some drama of the soap opera type.  Some of the things that happen in this movie just scream daytime television and the set-up of the film isn’t exactly fresh—how many times have we seen polar opposites being forced to get along?  However, the movie managed to keep me interested in the characters and their predicaments.  Devine and Bassett were terrific as the two battling mothers.  Both of them managed to be both vile and contemptible, yet sweet and misunderstood in their own right.  Neither one was a cut-out villain but a living, breathing, multi-dimensional woman.  However, some of the other characters were less fleshed out, and some of their storylines were a bit unnecessary.  The movie could have benefited greatly from stronger leads, tighter control and focus, and maybe even a bit more humor.  Like I said, at times I felt like I was watching a soap.

Oh, and Julie Bowen who plays Claire Dunphy on ABC’s Modern Family was in it!  She played the wedding planner and she was the only white character in the movie!  I love her!  Also Romeo Miller (Lil' Romeo) is super sexy in his small role.

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