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Originally published Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 11:57 AM

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Movie review

'Jumping the Broom': a nice outfit with too many accessories

"Jumping the Broom," with Angela Bassett, Paul Patton, Laz Alonso and others, is a romantic comedy with much to enjoy, but it has too many subplots.

Seattle Times movie critic

Movie review2.5 stars

'Jumping the Broom,' with Angela Bassett, Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Loretta Devine, Tasha Smith, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Valarie Pettiford. Directed by Salim Akil, from a screenplay by Elizabeth Hunter and Arlene Gibbs. 108 minutes. Rated PG-13 for some sexual content. Several theaters.

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There's an old fashioned adage that says that to avoid over-accessorizing you should always look in the mirror before leaving the house and remove one thing. "Jumping the Broom," before it left the house, should have looked in the mirror and removed one plotline, or maybe a few. This likable romantic comedy/ drama, about two socioeconomically diverse African-American families coming together for an elaborate Martha's Vineyard wedding, is wildly overaccessorized, giving virtually every character an elaborate subplot (sometimes more than one). This results in a long, lumpy middle section of the movie, before everything comes together for a sweetly romantic ending.

But there's much to enjoy here, particularly the great Angela Bassett (whose trademark glare reduces a wedding planner to dust) and Loretta Devine as dueling mothers of the bride (Paula Patton) and groom (Laz Alonso), respectively. And, in a time when too many rom-coms present an ugly version of love (yes, I'm looking at you, "Something Borrowed"), it's nice to see a movie that remembers to deliver a little romantic fantasy along the way.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or

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