Jumping the BroomOverview -
Two very different families converge on Martha's Vineyard one weekend for a wedding.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
There's a lot to dislike about 'Jumping the Broom,' from its not-so-original concept to its sometimes abrasive comedic scenes (most of which include Mike Epps). Still, somehow, through all of the reasons not to like it, 'Jumping the Broom' sort of grows on you as the movie goes on. You may, like me, find yourself sitting there saying, "I know I'm not supposed to be liking this, but it isn't half bad."
Sabrina (Paula Patton) has had a checkered love life. She seems to always pick the wrong guys. Like the guy she wakes up with at the beginning of the movie who is talking to his girlfriend on the phone as she puts on her clothes. Real classy. Right then and there she makes a pact with God to not have anymore sex until she's married. Then she meets the right guy in Jason (Laz Alonso). He's everything she's ever wanted. He's caring, nice, and fun. The only problem is she comes from a wealthy background while he hails from a family that never had all that much money.
The unbelievable portion of the movie comes when we're supposed to expect that two people would plan their wedding without their parents meeting, or at least the bride-to-be meeting her future in-laws.
The wedding day is set and Jason invites his family out to Sabrina's lavish estate. This is the only way the movie will work, since Jason's family has been kept in the dark this whole time. They're automatically resentful of Sabrina's family's money. Jason's mother (Loretta Devine) is steeped in traditions and hopes that Jason and Sabrina will carry them on in their own wedding. When Sabrina announces that she wants to make her own traditions Mrs. Taylor unleashes scowl after scowl as she just can't believe her son is marrying this no-good woman.
While 'Jumping the Broom' is tolerable and an easy, breezy way to spend an hour and a half I can't help but think of the things that it could've done to be better. See, the movie is full of so many subplots it's easy to become lost in the fray. I stopped paying attention to most of them because they have no place in the movie's ultimate endgame which is the relationship between Jason and Sabrina. I couldn't care less about Mrs. Taylor's friend, Shonda (Tasha Smith) and her teenage stalker. Mike Epps is infuriating most of the time with his unfunny comedic relief. The subplot about Jason's best friend resenting Jason for getting married and making money is really the only one that makes some sense. Do we really need to know the truth about Sabrina's parents' finances? No, not really, especially when it's all worked out in the end anyway. What about Julie Bowen's unfortunate role as a clueless white woman who can't help but display her racial ignorance at every turn?
There are just so many superfluous stories that take away from the bigger picture. Like the ensemble better have something to do or their go somewhere else. Jason and Sabrina are the real reason to watch this movie, but they had to fill in the gaps somehow. Yes, the movie hinges on the same old tired clichés of wedding-centric rom-coms. Things go wrong, people get in fights, then they make up just in time to avert disaster. Still, sitting there 'Jumping the Broom' will simply roll over you. You'll forget about it five minutes later, but you won't be angry that you sat through it. At least that's how I felt.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
Sony has released 'Jumping the Broom' on a 50-GB Blu-ray Disc packaged in a standard Blu-ray keepcase with a snap closure on the side. It's labeled as being a region A release.
Sony consistently puts out stunning transfers, even for its lesser known titles. 'Jumping the Broom' is no exception. The 1080 AVC-encoded transfer looks damn near perfect in every single way.
Colors are spot on, bursting off the screen with life. The lush greens and earth tone browns of the Watson's beachside estate are breathtaking. Edges are perfectly defined as people and objects appear crisp and clear. Textures, faces, and clothing all benefit from the refinement of this transfer. From the lacy clothes that Sabrina wears to the textured Polo shirts of the men, the fine detail is optimum.
Shadows are perfectly delineated. Skin tones may, at times burn a little hot, but that could just be because of the blazing sun in the outdoor scenes. For the most part skin tones have a very natural look to them. Crushing, banding, or aliasing are never evident. This is another great looking video presentation from Sony.
While not as impressive as the video transfer, Sony's DTS-HD Master Audio mix comes very close to matching the high bar that's already been set. For a talkative drama 'Jumping the Broom' actually has a fairly dynamic listening experience in store for its viewers.
I was surprised by the hefty amount of ambient activity that is constantly happening in the rear channels. This is a wedding party and the Watson's estate is teaming with guests and caterers. There's always someone walking in and out of the frame as they ready the house and the surrounding grounds for the big day. You can hear that commotion taking place all around you. People milling about, cooks getting the dinner ready, the tinkling of silverware hitting plates as people eat. It's all perfectly audible.
Dialogue is also clean and clear. Prioritization is right on with the movie's soundtrack never overpowering the dialogue or situations on screen. The musical soundtrack fills the soundfield and provides ample low end support when needed. A very fine audio presentation indeed.
- Audio Commentary — Director Salim Akil is joined by actors Patton (Sabrina) and Alonso (Jason) for this full-length commentary. It's a pretty straightforward commentary track where they talk about their characters, the motives behind their actions, the genesis of the movie and its script, its casting, and filming locations. Akil shares anecdotes about the filming process as the commentary track wears on. It's a pretty congenial track with these three. If you find yourself really liking the movie you may want to give this a listen.
- You're Invited: Behind the Scenes (HD, 23 min.) — Cast and crew discuss the movie as a whole, its various themes, its characters, its filming, and basically just an overview of the movie all together.
- Honoring the Tradition of Jumping the Broom (HD, 6 min.) — The tradition of jumping a broom on the wedding day is discussed here.
Much of the film is mired in subplots that go nowhere and ultimately mean nothing, but even with all those distractions, 'Jumping the Broom' still makes for a not-so-bad wedding dramedy about two people trying to find common ground and the love that was there all along. Sony has provided another audio-visual feast so you'll be happy about if you're planning on picking this one up. It's worth a look for sure.
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