By Trenae V. McDuffie
Falling in love with someone requires accepting both good attributes and those annoying habits, but when Jason Taylor meets Sabrina Watson; both carry the weight of their distinctive families. Jumping the Broom definitely shows the story of black love, but there are other themes that the film addresses.
“It has a beautiful undertone that I think hopefully if people really pay attention, it really unites black people as oppose to emphasizing that we are different. Even though we are all black, it doesn’t mean that we are identical. We can still be black and be different and it’s okay,” Alonso said.
This film could possible pioneer a resurgence of Black romance films, but Jumping the Broom also speaks to a broader audience. Alonso says that the director’s vision was to communicate real disputes amongst families coming together through marriage.
“You don’t have to be black to experience what these two families are experiencing. Salim Akil made it a point to not play the stereotypes, but play the real life issues that families face regardless of what color we are.”
Portraying a professional man who romances Sabrina Watson, played by Paula Patton, was unlike any other role he played. In Jarhead, Miracle at St. Anna, Fast and Furious and Avatar, Alonso played a solider, fighter and bad guy. With an extensive resume of serious characters, adjusting for the role of Jason Taylor took some hard work.
“I watched a lot of romantic comedy. Hitch, any Matthew McConaughey movie, I went back to watch Pretty Woman and The Best Man. It was something that I always knew that I had to figure out, because it’s different you know, being a blue alien in a movie or a Mohawk wearing evil dude trying to kill Vin Diesel, it’s a lot different than romancing Paula Patton getting down on one knee and asking her to marry me.”
While preparing for the role and developing a new collection of romance movies, Alonso explains that he was discovered the lack of Black films that address both genres of romance and comedy. Since the 70s, Black Cinema swept theaters. Categories of action, comedy, drama, romance, Christian themes and films about black history attracted many movie goers. Consequently, over the past two years, there has been a decrease of black films playing in theaters. Last year, the Oscars skipped over Black Cinema with no nominations going to black films. Alonso offers a solution to get more black movies nominated.
“The way we tell Hollywood that we need more African American films is if we go to the box office and support the ones we have. Do not buy the bootleg because all that’s saying is we can just make straight to DVD movies they’re not going to theaters anyway.”
He continues to say that support can be simply through word of mouth or through social networking.
“If African Americans show up on May 6th in theaters and that weekend and support the film, then it will open doors. We’ve done all we’ve could. Now it’s up to the audience if they like it, tell their friends, tweet about it, Facebook about it and bring their whole family because that it ultimately what you tell Hollywood that we need to make more Jumping the Broom films”.