Jumping the Broom

 
Sweet, funny wedding comedy is a good parent-and-teen pick.
  • Review Date: May 3, 2011
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 109 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Many of the movie's messages center around faith (the film was produced by an evangelical preacher). It also emphasizes the importance of respecting your parents but knowing when it's OK to disagree with them; being truthful with the people closest to you, even if it's hurtful; trusting your children to make the right decision; and not judging others based on their social status or education.

Positive role models

Ultimately the bride and groom are admirable role models because they learn to look past their family differences and respect each other's backgrounds and parents. They believe in each other enough to marry, even though their lives are "messy." Mr. Watson refuses to allow Mrs. Watson to push him away, and Mrs. Taylor's best friend and brother-in-law both lovingly encourage her to own up to her misdeeds in trying to break up the wedding.

Violence

Some mild pushing and shoving during a touch football game.

Sex

The movie opens with Sabrina fastening her bra; she's later shown in her bra and panties, as is one of the bridesmaids. Jason's uncle and cousin flirt boldly with Sabrina's aunt and bridesmaids. Sabrina's aunt sings Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" in a skimpy dress. The caterer and a bridesmaid kiss and are caught in their lingerie and underwear. The bride and groom kiss passionately a few times. Bridesmaids wonder whether the groom is on the "downlow" or cheating, since the bride-to-be has insisted on premarital celibacy. Teen motherhood is referenced in the story.

Language

Language includes "damn," "hell," "hook up," and "oh my God," plus insults like "stupid," "loser," and the terms "bougie" and "bootstrapper," which are used derogatively to mean "upper class" and "self-made."

Consumerism

BlackBerry, Prius, Land Rover, Polo, Lacoste, and a few other brands are on display in the movie.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults are shown with champagne and other drinks at meals and a reception. The wedding party drinks at a bar/restaurant, where one groomsmen says the groom should get "wasted." Sabrina's aunt acts drunk before she takes the stage.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this wedding comedy was produced by evangelical preacher TD Jakes. It includes some kissing and discussion of premarital sex/celibacy, but at heart it's an uplifting story about the importance of love, family, and tradition. There are a couple of shots of characters (both male and female) in their underwear, but the action is limited to a few sexy smooches. Language is mild for a PG-13 film, and there's no violence outside of a football match that leaves the groom flat on his back. Some of the issues -- classism within the African-American community, mothers who hate every woman their son brings home, teen mothers forced to give away their babies -- are a bit mature for younger audiences, but the movie could prompt discussion about romantic and family relationships.

What's the story?

Sabrina Watson (Paula Patton) is a wealthy New York City attorney from a socially prominent family. After vowing to abstain from sex if God will show her the man she's supposed to be with, she literally crashes into attractive investment banker Jason Taylor (Laz Alonzo), who's successful but from a modest, working-class family. The two have a whirlwind five-month courtship and decide to get married with only a month's notice in order to accommodate Sabrina's upcoming job transfer to China. The wedding weekend, held at Sabrina's family's Martha's Vineyard estate, is the first time that Jason's devout-but-overbearing mother (Loretta Devine) meets both Sabrina and her elegant, haughty mother (Angela Bassett). As the clans clash over everything from food and clothes to wedding traditions like JUMPING THE BROOM, family secrets come to light that may threaten the nuptials.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For his theatrical debut, director Salim Akil has assembled an impressive cast to outperform Tyler Perry at his own formula: combining faith and humor in an inspiring tale about African-American families. Strong performances and a surprisingly witty script make this wedding comedy charming, even when characters are obviously pleading to God or quoting the Bible because the movie was produced by popular evangelical pastor TD Jakes (who makes a cameo as Sabrina's family minister). That said, the story isn't overburdened with preachiness. Sabrina and Jason's abstinence is lightheartedly mocked -- in one refreshingly humorous scene, her aunt even sings "Sexual Healing" at the rehearsal dinner.

Because they're played by Bassett and Devine, it's no surprise that the mothers steal the show. But the attractive leads share a believable chemistry, and the supporting characters are all up to par as well. Meagan Good is beautifully snobby as the WASPily named bridesmaid Blythe; Mike Epps manages to tone down his over-the-top persona as Jason's uncle; old-school CSI fans will delight in the hunky Gary Dourdan popping up as the handsome catering chef; and Julie Bowen gamely plays the wedding planner who's not sure what is or isn't racist to ask and observe. Although some of the family drama borders on melodrama, this is one romantic comedy actually worth seeing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's message about romantic and family relationships. Does a couple need to share a similar background to have a successful relationship?

  • How does this movie compare to other wedding comedies? Does it send any positive or negative messages about weddings and/or marriage? Why do so many wedding movies focus on the big day rather than what comes after?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 6, 2011
DVD release date:August 9, 2011
Cast:Angela Bassett, Laz Alonzo, Loretta Devine, Paula Patton
Director:Salim Akil
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Genre:Comedy
Run time:109 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some sexual content

This review of Jumping the Broom was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written byspacermom February 3, 2013
age 10+
 

Cute movie, could have been better

This movie was cute, predictable, and sweet. The only problem I really had with it was the character "Amy" played by Julie Bowen from 'Modern Family'. She was the only Caucasian speaking role (that wasn't a big deal); my problem was how rude she was. At one point she was commenting on the different shades of skin color, and at another point she asked an elderly maid if she needs to use sunscreen. I think they could have used the opportunity to encourage positive inter race relations instead of succumbing to lowering another race to stupidity and rudeness.
Kid, 10 years old March 16, 2012
age 13+
 

Funny But Not For Under 12

I agree with common sense media! It very innapropiate during some moments! There is some social drinking between adults!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byScottydog March 10, 2012
age 18+
 

Disappointing...

My 16 year old son and I rented this movie with the hopes of a funny and enjoyable movie. He (not me) ended up turning it off about half way through because it was not that funny and frankly slapped family values in the face. If there was any reason to watch this movie with your teenager, it would be an example of how not to develop and handle relationships. Very disappointing movie.
What other families should know
Too much sex

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass