“Jumping the Broom”: Simply Madea with a Touch of Class


“Jumping the Broom” is like a Tyler Perry movie with polish.

The ensemble comedy is about a wedding involving a bride from a family of wealthy African-American professionals and a groom from a family of working-class Brooklynites. It is well-cast, well-played and passably written.

And if this project lacks the scruffy outrageousness of Perry’s down-home Atlanta farces, it compensates with heart. “Broom” never looks as if it’s trying too hard.

Paula Patton shaves off a few years to play Sabrina, an excitable young woman of privilege who prays for a good man and promptly hits one named Jason (Laz Alonzo). Literally. With her car. Soon enough, he proposes and a wedding at her family’s house on Martha’s Vineyard is arranged.

But Jason hasn’t brought Sabrina to meet his mom (Loretta Devine), and she’s fuming over that. She’s keeping score of all the slights she notices from the bride and the highfalutin mother of the bride (Angela Bassett), who switches to French when she wants to say something nasty about the new in-laws.

The fights are over clothes, the menu, the Electric Slide and the practice of jumping the broom, a fading wedding tradition among African Americans.

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