Sexual Content Trips Up Jumping the Broom
- Friday, May 06, 2011
Sex is ever-present in this film both as a plot line and a topic of conversation. One steamy scene in the kitchen brought back memories of Bull Durham while a sultry rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” was almost uncomfortable. A college boy’s pursuit of a much older woman is played for laughs (are pedophile jokes really funny?), and the rest of the houseguests seem more interested in “who” rather than “what” they can do. Hedonists all, they are united in amazement at the thought that the happy couple could really have survived for six whole months without ‘doing the deed.’
Despite that, this is a very funny movie—and it’s an accessible humor not limited to one race or class. The one exception to that rule is the hapless wedding planner played by Julie Bowen (TV’s Modern Family). Her character has apparently never seen a person of color before and is too clueless to keep any passing thought to herself. It was funny at first but as the time went on and her wide-eyed wonder continued unabated it became a mildly annoying distraction. Other than that, the pace is excellent, moving quickly from laugh to laugh, showcasing the beautiful setting and glorious clothing while eventually managing to make a point.
“Jumping the broom” refers to a tradition from slave days, when those who did not have the legal right to marry marked their commitment to each other by a ceremonial hop over a broom. Mrs. Taylor looks on this as honoring their roots. Mrs. Watson sees it as an outdated custom. For the bride and groom it’s one more thing to argue about. In the end, each has to learn to respect the others’ perspective. Despite their flaws, both families are sympathetic enough that when all ends well it’s a sweet ending that brings a smile.
- Drugs/Alcohol: Alcohol flows freely and most characters imbibe with abandon.
- Language/Profanity: He**, a character called a who** (in French with subtitles).
- Sex/Nudity: Sex is a predominant theme of the film and the topic of much of the conversation, some explicit. One character says she’s “a hermaphrodite.” Several underwear and bikini shots, some involving heavy petting. Even fully clothed, many characters are scantily clad. A make-out scene is interrupted almost too late. Sultry rendition of “Sexual Healing,” pedophile joke, too many references to list.
Violence: A well-placed (and well-deserved) punch thrown.
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