Thursday, October 5, 2023


May 6, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

Jumping the Broom is another one of those movies about a couple from different social strata whose upcoming marriage is regarded with no enthusiasm by their parents. The difference in this film is that the two families are African-American. Indeed the phrase “jumping the broom” dates back to wedding rites during the days of slavery. As Kevin Thomas notes in the Los Angeles Times: “Clashes of class within the African American community are not often depicted on the screen, but Jumping the Broom tackles them head-on with humor, compassion and plenty of wisdom.” Unlike Something Borrowed, the other wedding day movie being released this weekend, Jumping the Broom is receiving mostly positive reviews. Not great ones, mind you, just run-of-the-mill good ones. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times remarks that it’s “one of those films during which I notice things I simply decide to disregard. It’s a good time at the movies. … It’s not a perfect movie. The mothers are exaggerated to the point of easy sitcommery. So, OK: We’re not going for the sociology. We’re going for fun, and if characters are too broad, that, too, can be fun. There’s such a thing as being picky, picky, picky.” Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel describes it as being “like a Tyler Perry movie with polish.” He adds: “It is well-cast, well-played, passably written and filmed in the warm glow only the top drawer cinematographers can achieve.” On the other hand, A.O. Scott writes in the New York Times that Jumping the Broom is like one of Tyler Perry’s movies “stripped of both the anarchic comedy and the over-the-top, operatic passions. Restraint and responsibility are among the virtues the film preaches, which is certainly admirable, but you may wish it had practiced them less conscientiously.” And Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe, one of the few African-American critics working for a major U.S. newspaper, comments that all of the characters in the movie are trapped in its “limited ideas of blackness. Rather than untangle the subject, the filmmakers concoct an unreasonable amount of melodrama as a distraction.”