“Jumping the Broom”
Several things jump out about “Jumping
The entire cast consists of beautiful people, as
if the casting director could only choose models.
Most of them can even act.
The reference to “Jumping the Broom” is from
the African-American culture. In the
slave days, blacks were not legally permitted to marry, so at the end of the
unofficial ceremony the couple symbolically enters their marital threshold by
jumping over a broom. There are many
folks of African-American descent who still observe this ritual, though there
are also “modern” couples who consider it an unnecessary vestige of an
earlier era. In fact, that tension is
one of the dynamics in the film itself.
The leading man, Jason (Laz Alonso), when he gets
in a tight spot, drives off to an isolated spot and starts talking….to God.
He actually prays, with sincerity and integrity.
The influence of (co-producer) Rev. T.D. Jakes on this film is
apparent. (He also convincingly plays
“The Reverend” in the wedding, and what a great voice.)
Though the script consists of discovering
momentous secrets, and the dialogue hovers around much interpersonal conflict,
there is no swearing. As if the writer
decided that “substitute slang” was just that, and instead has all the
characters express themselves clearly and articulately.
This feels like dialogue out of the 1950’s.
But the facility with language is refreshing.
The setting is lovely (
), the scenes are gorgeous (standing on the shore gazing at the sailboats on
the water), and the wardrobes are lavish---as if the universal informality of
contemporary culture suddenly disappears. This,
too, feels like the 1950’s.
Here, families may engage in a war of words, and
say spiteful things, and even hold grudges for years---but they always stay
together. Sure, it’s idyllic, but
which church people wouldn’t want to see this model lifted up to our
Oh, did I mention that the entire cast is black?
Except, of course, for the white hired help…..oh, sweet irony.
Sure, the acting is a bit melodramatic in places,
but there is so much to like about this whole enterprise, and the way in which
it was produced, that would make this veteran Pastor recommend it to genteel
church audiences of any denomination.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Co-Pastor, United