Your Thoughts And Reactions To "Jumping The Broom?"

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 9, 2011 12:31 PM
26 Comments
  • |

I received a few emails over the last week from readers asking me for a review of Jumping The Broom; obviously I haven't posted one; actually we (S&A) haven't properly reviewed the film yet, which I suppose some find odd given that it IS essentially THE black film of 2011, right? I guess. We've certainly written about it quite a bit on this site (both the old and new versions of S&A), as the marketing campaign, which I talked about in a previous post, has been something of a blitzkrieg!

And as Sergio's box office post showed yesterday, the film took in a decent $13.7 million, on a budget of about $6 million (though I'm not sure if that figure includes marketing costs).

The critics are mixed; according to RottenTomatoes.com, "Fresh" and "Rotten" reviews are split almost down the middle, so it isn't overwhelmingly praised nor panned. Although, maybe showing, once again, the disconnect between critics and audiences, R.T. gives the audience average rating, thus far, at about 76%. So, almost 8 out of 10 of you liked it!

I haven't reviewed it yet because, well, I didn't like it! Sorry... But maybe that shouldn't be much of a surprise, right? :)

I figured I could have written some scathing critique of it, and posted it here, but decided not to; it didn't seem necessary. So I passed. Also, Sergio saw it before I did, saying that he enjoyed it, calling "charming;" so, I figured he'd eventually write something up about it.

But really for me... in short... the movie definitely is well-intended, for sure! But it's not very-well written; the two leads were poorly cast (although Paula Patton has more screen presence than Laz Alonzo's attempt at being a leading man; the sequences between Gary Dourdan and Meagan Good were actually more appealing to me, and they were secondary characters); Paula Patton seems to be channeling Jennifer Garner in 13 Going On 30 (oddly enough, I think they actually kind of look alike); it's cliche-filled; Angela Bassett is pretty much playing the same woman she's played in almost every other film she's been in, as does Loretta Devine (neither is given much to work with here however); there were a few too many subplots that I felt were unnecessary and only distracted from the core narrative which was thinly written, and really needed some meat; its "through faith in God everything will work out just fine in the end" overtones felt trite, and simplified the work; it's wrapped up far too quickly and neatly to be at all believable, even in Hollywood's suspension of disbelief world; there are some bright spots scattered about, but just not enough for me to say that I recommend the movie. It's really just another so-so romcom, that's no better, nor worse than any of those we've seen with Kate Hudson or Jennifer Aniston starring.

So... my quickie thoughts on the movie... there ya have it.

I didn't hate it as much as she did, but Gina MCcauley at What About Our Daughters? absolutely loathed it, and posted a thorough, humorous response to it, which you can read HERE.

However, S&A's fave critic Armond White gave the film a thumbs up, mostly praising it for its "class consciousness." You can read Armond's review HERE.

But, now that the film is available widely, I know a lot of you have seen it, so what did YOU think of it? Chime in below...

  • |
You might also like:
Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

26 Comments

  • Ola | May 10, 2011 12:30 PMReply

    I enjoyed it. Is it a great movie that will go down in history? Well of course not. But it was a relaxing and fun diversion from hearing bad news about what's happening in Detroit and anything else that's not good. I have plenty of opportunities to be analytical when I'm involved in educational ventures. Sometimes all I need a movie to be is a fun diversion. This movie fits the bill.

  • CU | May 10, 2011 3:25 AMReply

    Overall, I thought the movie was pretty good. It had a great cast. Some of the characters began to wear heavy on my nerves (Paula Patton and Loretta Devine) but all in all it was a feel good movie that served its purpose of making the audience laugh.

  • JasonJee | May 10, 2011 2:56 AMReply

    I enjoyed this movie a lot, I want the dvd. It was so refreshing to see non-pathological Black folks for a change. Even Angela Bassett whom I'm not a fan of, was great. And stunning. Everybody was good. Normal fully human Black folks! What a concept.

  • 50 Year Old African American Male | May 10, 2011 2:20 AMReply

    Technical evaluations aside...the movie made me feel good this weekend.

    I thought the movie was funny enough, serious enough, clean enoug, and entertaining enough, for my $10 on Mother's Day.

    If I had listened to the critics I would have missed out on an enjoyable element in my Mother's Day celebration.

    The film actually represents the various perspectives in the comments and reviews I have read.

    Relax, all of us has seen a better movie and most have seen a worse film.

    Go see the movie for yourself.

  • Neziah | May 10, 2011 1:05 AMReply

    I might see it eventually, but I never expected much from a film of this type, it's not thought provoking or unique in any way.

  • friend | May 9, 2011 12:45 PMReply

    LOVED this film A PLUS!!!!!

    Blacks NEVER get films like this one.

    It could have easily been an all white cast.

  • Jug | May 9, 2011 12:34 PMReply

    @Enjoyed It!-See, that's the problem. Stuff starts to sting when you pay $27.50 for a date :-( LMBAO

    @Tovah-"Such as when TD Bank…I mean, Jake showed up looking like Captain Gantu from Lilo & Stich" HAHAHAHHAHA!!

  • Enjoyed it! | May 9, 2011 12:05 PMReply

    C'mon guys, it wasn't all that bad! I thought I was going to bust a gut when Pettiford started singing! I've actually witnessed something similar at a family reunion. Yesss...that stuff really does occur... Stop acting like my family is the only one with nutz!
    Overall I thought the film was warm and funny! Wouldn't pay to see it again, but I got my $5 worth.

  • Tovah | May 9, 2011 12:05 PMReply

    I saw this at a free screening last week. And, let's just say, I wouldn't exactly pay to see it on my own. It simply wasn't my cup of tea. But I know plenty of people who would enjoy it. As others have said, Paula Patton's acting was grating. Laz Alonso could use an acting class or twenty. Angela Bassett was...well, earning a paycheck. No comment on Loretta Divine.

    It wasn't a very good movie. But, truth be told, it was no worse than the average(see: completely white) rom-com out there. In fact, it was a little better. I chose to see JTB over a screening of "Something Borrowed", which, based on the trailers, looked absolutely horrid.

    Yes, it was cliche as hell. But how many original rom-coms have you seen lately that aren't? So, how do I say this? Jumping the Broom was like a subtler, more aesthetically pleasing Tyler Perry movie (melodrama and christian propaganda included).

    There were a few scattered laughs, but the funniest moments were unintentional. Such as when TD Bank...I mean, Jake showed up looking like Captain Gantu from Lilo & Stich, and El Debarge resurfaced film milk carton obscurity to serenade the would be bride and groom in the park.

  • CareyCarey | May 9, 2011 11:02 AMReply

    Okay, here we go loop de loop, Quentin Tarantino’s screenplay for Django Unchained, and Jumping The Damn Broom.

    Work with me now. What if I said Beyond The Green Door? Okay, I don’t know what yawls response would be, but some of you know that’s a skin flick. Now quick, what would you say if I said, The Birth Of A Nation? Well, some were quick to say it’s a vile racist propaganda flick, yet others, here, right here at S & A, were quick to say it’s must viewing.

    Let’s pick up the pace and do 5 people, places and thangs, in five seconds. Ready.... Hitler, The Vatican, Sunday’s church service at The Old Black Baptist Church, Donald Trump, and a trio for added punch; John Waters, Richard Pryor and Woody Allen.

    Again, what a tangled web we weave. However, I can safely assume, even though some of the aforementioned names and places, have slight connection (unintended, for the record), I know they ushered in a plethora of foods for thought. But you know what, I’d bet my left nut that everyone knows what you might get if you venture “their” way.

    Now in steps Quentin Tarantino and Da Broom. “OH LORDY, Quentin is going to use and abuse black folks, and say the word nigger a hundred thousand times” . Really, I didn‘t know that?

    Da Broom is going to sweep out Loretta Devine and she’s going to overact, and turn the movie into another sorry sista girl act. Really, I had no idea?! I mean, the movie had a lot of black folks in it, so what’s the problem?

    Didn’t I hear... “I don’t mind a “B story” or even a “C story”, but this movie had an “LMNOP story” it was TOO much.” and “I thought the movie was excellent, classy film. I saw it twice..a preview and then I took my mother, she liked it too” and, one more counterpoint... “What do you expect? It’s an adult fairytale. Which means, loads of clichés, forced drama and in this case… horrible script”

    Listen, I know there’s valid arguments to the suggestion that movie are just that. In essence a form of entertainment. And I agree, in ever movie there bits of unconscious and conscious propaganda, but I, personally do not view movie as my major source of information, nor inspiration. In most cases, I know what I am going to get before I pay my money, which makes it a more enjoyable experience. I am not looking for the “bad” stuff. I hope that I am entertained. My dashiki and politics are off the table.

    In short, we’re talking about Quentin Tarantino, not Betty Crocker or Barbie’s Ken.

  • Jug | May 9, 2011 7:06 AMReply

    @Tamara-Oh Valerie was a MONSTER! She was really good, even though she had some poopy lines to say and was part of a ridiculous cliche, she made it work. Mark of a true pro.

    Gary Dourdan was good too, not a whole lot to do, but when it counted was honest, strong & on the money. He should've had more. Basically the people who had the most were the worst & the people who had the least were the best.

    So what else is new? LOL

  • Tamara | May 9, 2011 6:51 AMReply

    Glad to hear there were some good performances. I love Mike Epps. Underrated, if I can be so bold as to say. And Valerie Pettiford? LOVE HER!

  • Jug | May 9, 2011 5:52 AMReply

    We could go on & on about the negatives of this movie (& trust there are MANY) but some true positives of the film were truly good performances by Tasha Smith & Mike Epps. Shocked the shit out of me! Yes, Mike brought the funny, which is what he was supposed to do, but he brought a surprising earthy/grounded quality. A "life lesson sort" of manhood that when something needed to be said straight no chaser (especially to Loretta's overactin' ass), he did it. He was "an uncle" fun & crazy but full of knowledge. I actually wanted to see more that, or more of that in another movie. Tasha Smith, FINALLY she was a normal person and not a Stan Lee drawn super villain! She was great in the pretty thin joke of the older woman/younger man bit, not a lick of ghetto over the top. The rowboat bit had me rollin'. If she gets out of the TP camp, she'll show us somethin'.

    All in all, I'm with Zeus (and Harry Lennix) NO MORE DAMN CURVES. If it was bad, say it was bad. Ask that our movies be up to par, not 'well it's the best we could do" Bullshit! Yes, I understand the idea of voting with your dollar, so we should support, but that support should come with a very vocal caveat about the quality of the movie. And maybe that is another way to support, like Tyler said "Come talk to me brother, TELL me what I'm doing wrong."

    One thing I have to say...TD Jakes...STAY OUTTA YOUR MOVIES BRUH! THAT dude was chewin' some scenery LMAO

    That being said, there were good things about it and halfway in it was a regular old rom-com, no big deal but then descended into misery LOL

    @19082008-Any actress could have done that. Paula (THE WORST) doesn't have a "bougie" look, unless you count light-skinned and straight hair bougie. That was another cliche that catered to the casting, the light/fair-skinned, French speaking crowd vs the brown-skinned, wig/extension wearing crowd. We visually had to see their differences, instead of the actors & script telling us they were different.

    We could pop off a number of actresses to do that tho-Sydney Tamiia Porter, Amber Stevens, Zoe Kravtiz, Judith Sekoni...okay I had to look that last one up but I knew there was a chick in the next TWILIGHT joint that could do it LOL

    But Judith is too brown for the gimmick to work (and BOY was that a whack gimmick LOL).

  • Ljayzee | May 9, 2011 5:39 AMReply

    I was hesitant to see this film because I could tell by the ads that the "downtown" mother was going to be the "villain" in the film and portrayed as a stereotype. But I at least wanted to SEE for myself before condemning it without seeing it. I felt after the closing credits one of the actors should have came on screen and said "Hello my is ....What you have just seen is a work of total FICTION and under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should anyone ever get married under these conditions...." This story was beyond ridiculous and even though they to tried to tie it up in a pretty little bow at the end. I still wanted to SCREAM "Are you kidding"? I don't mind a "B story" or even a "C story", but this movie had an "LMNOP story" it was TOO much.

    Everyone wants to say this movie is about marry outside of your class and even if that is true, does it HAVE to be a Battle? I really would have liked to have seen this done another way. Just about EVERYONE in this movie was so MEAN. I'm so TIRED of movies about Weddings that start off with the families fighting. That has been DONE to Death.

  • Zeus | May 9, 2011 4:46 AMReply

    TIRED of "well intentioned" movies that SUCK but we will grade them on a MASSIVE curve because they are black like us.

    In fairness, THOR sucked too!

  • Airet | May 9, 2011 4:45 AMReply

    It is not the writers job to review movies...that was a weird statemnent. I thought the movie was excellent, classy film. I saw it twice..a preview and then I took my mother, she liked it too. My sister took my nieces they need to see young black people in love. Positive message. Instead of rape, jail or exploitive movies.

  • Kia | May 9, 2011 4:21 AMReply

    What do you expect? It's an adult fairytale. Which means, loads of cliches, forced drama and in this case... horrible script. However it gets two stars for being funny. I also thought Valerie Pettiford was a highlight. She had great screen presence.

  • JMac | May 9, 2011 4:17 AMReply

    The trailer didn't appeal to me at all - looked like a black version of Monster-In-Law - so I was just going to wait til it's on netflix. Glad my initial feelings were right. The review on blacknbougie seems to sum up everyone's issues with this flick.

  • Alex | May 9, 2011 4:03 AMReply

    I loved the film!! I thought it was actually a breath of fresh air compaired to all the other crap romcoms out there. You're getting this from a guy who is not a fan of romantic comedies at all!!

    The cast members were chosen well and while this was no challenge for Loretta or Angela, they delivered as expected.

    Furthermore, I choose not to knock this film because it is noble attempt at depicting people of color as more "well-to-do". The groom's family was actually very tolerable and I thought Loretta Devine's depiction of a working class mother reluctant to let her son move on with his life, was well balanced.

    I was just telling my wife the other day that it would be great to see people of color in more genre's than just comedy all of the time. I am personally sick of that constant in the Black film industry. This film was highly enjoyable and I would recommend it.

  • 19082008 | May 9, 2011 4:00 AMReply

    I saw it at an advance free screening, but I would have paid my $10 or whatever.

    Enjoyable film. Solid comedy-drama, and I thought the religious aspect wasn't overweening and heavy handed, a la what you see in Emmitt Perry Jr. movies.

    To the casting, I know that Paula Patton is only about 17 or 18 years younger than Angela Bassett, but who, among the 20-something actresses (and I do mean actresses, not hyphenates) out there has the "super-bourgeois" look the character called for?

  • Sergio | May 9, 2011 3:50 AMReply

    The final weekend B.O. were higher than reported. The film got a big boost on Mother's Day so it's opening weekend total was $15.3 million, pretty close to the $16 million that was projected

  • SayNay | May 9, 2011 3:50 AMReply

    @Lady Bug
    Regarding the ending...Thank you! I'm sorry but no matter how the uptown family slighted Loretta Divine's character, she had no right to do that at all, let alone in some jerry springer fashion. It would definitely take a lot more than a note for me to tolerate her presence at that point.

    Overall I thought the movie was okay and some actors like Megan Good, Tasha Smith, and Mike Epps even surprised me. However, this movie was not worth my $10. So if you haven't seen it yet save your $$ and wait for netflix, redbox, or tbs!

  • Ladybug | May 9, 2011 3:28 AMReply

    Oh . . . will say . . . loved Valerie Pettiford!

  • Ladybug | May 9, 2011 3:27 AMReply

    It was a RomCom . . . a BAD ONE I hope that this is the last chance Paula Patton is given . . . every time she is given one she disappoints . . . she over acted the WHOLE FILM . . . I got it you were miscast . . . should have been an actress ten years younger . . . but that doesn't mean act 12 . . . she was awful. The guy who's name I couldn't bother to remember was boring. Enjoyed Meghan Good and Gary Dourdan. The end just felt rushed and typical . . . and if Loretta Divines character was that rude to me and my family . . . it would take more than a letter . . . a personal apology and conversation with the family would be necessary. I could go on . . . but why bother.

  • Carlton Jordan | May 9, 2011 3:17 AMReply

    Eh....

  • Gina | May 9, 2011 2:47 AMReply

    AH man :) . I went with family and my brother in law thought is was decent. But he grades on a curve. He gave them credit for trying. We actually did your own Siskel and Ebert on the ride home.

    I only wrote a review because I felt bad that I told my readers I was going to see the movie so I felt I had some responsibility to warn them.

Follow Shadow and Act

Email Updates

Most "Liked"

  • Taraji P. Henson Drama 'From The Rough' ...
  • Electro (Jamie Foxx) Faces Off Against ...
  • Watch Omar Sy In Action As Bishop In ...
  • Black Movie Trivia - Congrats to our ...
  • Interview: Chatting with RZA About Paul ...
  • Sidney Poitier Made Oscar History Today ...
  • Critically-Acclaimed Doc 'The Trials ...
  • GLAAD Awards Honors Jennifer Lopez-Produced ...
  • A Look At Seattle International Film ...
  • Hard Times - Making It, Vol. 1 - Entry ...