T.D. Jakes' Film 'Jumping the Broom' Spotlights Marriage, Abstinence

When you are in love, marriage seems like the most worthwhile thing in the world. But what happens when your in-laws get on your nerves? Or when you and your spouse begin to fight? How about when your relationship is thrown into an unimaginable crisis? Is marriage still worth it?

Dallas megachurch pastor and film producer T. D. Jakes’ answer is marriage, despite its difficulties, is a commitment meant to last a lifetime. Producer Jakes, founding pastor of The Potter’s House, tries to get this message across to moviegoers in his upcoming comedy film, “Jumping the Broom.”

The film centers on soon-to-be-married couple Jason Taylor (played by Laz Alonso) and Sabrina Watson (Paula Patton).

Taylor is caught in a six-month whirlwind romance that includes nights at the opera, long-stem roses and live performances from R&B crooner El DeBarge and proposes to Watson at the beginning of the film. Watson, who has to move to China for business, happily accepts.

The pair believes they are destined for unshakable happiness when they meet with their pastor, Rev. James (T.D. Jakes).

But doubts about their impending marriage begin to seep in when they confront difficult future in-laws, pressure from friends, and revelations of dirty secrets.

In the film, the bride’s parents, the Watsons, also have problems in their marriage and appear to be on the verge of divorce.

Despite the hardships, Sabrina Watson and Jason Taylor are able to save their relationship through prayer and wise words from the bride’s mother, Claudine Watson (Angela Bassett). The older Watson urges her daughter to “keep on dancing” no matter how the music of life changes.

The film portrays the young couple’s story in an intentionally casual and comedic way in order to draw viewers in and introduce them to religious themes such as commitment, patience and love.

Laz Alonso, who plays the main male character, said the film offers an alternative to pop culture’s view of relationships.

“In today’s culture and music, [relationships are] more sexually driven,” Alonso told The Christian Post in an interview. “The core of our interactions between a man and woman should be about love.”

In the name of love, Alonso’s character chooses to abstain from sex with Sabrina until after their wedding day.

Patton said of the movie’s portrayal of abstinence, “When you make a man wait, you bring his heart much closer to yours.”

While there are religious themes that promote a biblical view of relationships, the PG-13-rated film also includes passionate kisses and begins with a scene of Sabrina Watson the morning after having casual sex.

It was Jakes’ decision to include the morning-after scene, said Patton. She said of the scene, “It lets people be human beings that are not perfect. We make mistakes but the goal is to become a better person.”

The movie will be in theaters on Mother’s Day, May 6.

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