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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

May 10, 2011 at 9:19 AM

A rom-com box-office surprise

In last weekend’s Battle of the Romantic Comedies, the good guy won — and it made for a nice surprise at the box office. “Something Borrowed,” featuring rom-com staple Kate Hudson, up-and-coming cutie Ginnifer Goodwin, and the always reliable John Krasinski, seemed the movie to beat: big budget, big stars, and based on a popular chick-lit novel. Except that, under all that surface prettiness, it was terrible. Also opening was “Jumping the Broom,” another wedding-themed rom-com, this time set among two diverse African-American families coming together for a Martha’s Vineyard wedding bash. Made for a fraction of the “Something Borrowed” budget, it wasn’t perfect — rather overstuffed with plot, to the point where I wondered if the characters would collapse under the weight of all that story — but it was likable, well-acted (particularly by Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine as mothers of the bride and groom), sweetly romantic, and featured, wonder of wonders, a central couple who you actually wanted to stay together. (In contrast to the romantic triangle of “Something Borrowed,” all of whom you wanted to slap.)
Now the final box-office numbers are in for the weekend, and guess what: “Jumping the Broom” finished decisively ahead of the much more heavily promoted “Something Borrowed,” with $15.2 million vs. $13.9 million. Sometimes that word-of-mouth thing works after all. Let’s hope this means the possible “Something Borrowed” sequel is off the table, and that somebody gets busy and designs another movie around Angela Bassett soon. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for the perfect rom-com (or at least one as good as “(500) Days of Summer”); think I’ll see one this year?
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Loretta Devine and Angela Bassett finally bury the hatchet — in matching dresses! — in “Jumping the Broom” (photo credit: Jonathan Wenk, courtesy of Sony Pictures)

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