Headed out to see Jumping the Broom Saturday afternoon at the bougie theater. BougieMom and I sat with an appetizer sampler and peach iced tea to watch the latest "black wedding rom com" offering.
I liked it. It wasn't brilliant or groundbreaking or terribly original but it was entertaining. If you're looking for deep and life-changing, it's not your film. Lots of eye candy for both sexes to appreciate and enough drama to keep the story from being cookie cutter. If I'd titled the movie, I would have called it Cool Smiles and Hot Messes on a Platinum Platter. It made for a fun watching experience.
Subplots abound and the movie makes the most of the entire well-rounded and talented cast. Laz Alonso is a romantic hero and Paula Patton is Paula Patton. Pooch Hall, Gary Dourdan, Meagan Good, Valarie Pettiford, Tasha Smith, Romeo, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Mike Epps all add a little spice to the mix.
However, the characters were not well fleshed out and I really had an issue with the childish behavior of the bride and the "I don't know who to listen to" nonsense with the groom. The cluelessness of the white wedding planner who had "cultural" questions was jarring and it was hard at times to be sympathetic to Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine's characters that often came across as shrewish for no good reason.
There was also one Angela Bassett scene that looked practically cut and pasted in from Waiting to Exhale. It threw me for a second. The pervasive "regular" folks vs. "bougie" folks theme though... Le Sigh.
The overlying reason why I couldn't go 4+ stars on this one was the over-the-top judgmental depiction of the African American bourgeoisie. Bouge could NOT catch a break. When will folks get that bougie doesn't mean spoiled and stuck-up? My work is not done. The goodness of bouge must be spread to the powers that be in Hollywood. We, the Bougie and Beautiful, are not a monolith!
Similarly, not all "round-the-way" black folks show up with sweet potato pie and start asking where the collard greens are...
Woo-sah. All that being said, the movie was worth it. There are some genuine laugh out loud funny moments and more than a few "Oh no she didn't!" scenes. The scenery (Martha's Vineyard) was heartstoppingly gorgeous and the wardrobe person deserves a standing ovation. Also the score was well thought out. No, this won't go down as a Neo-Classic like Love Jones but it's a nice way to spend an hour and a half.
Kudos to producer Tracey Edmonds (the former Mrs. Babyface) for getting a different slice of black life on the big screen. Support Black Cinema!
[Feel free to comment but please... no spoilers!!!]