Paula Patton, who played Ms. Rain in Precious and is currently in the Fox Searchlight romantic comedy Just Wright with Queen Latifah and Common, is in talks to take center stage in a new rom-com called Jumping The Broom. This will be director Salim Akil's first feature-length film; Elizabeth Hunter, who wrote Beauty Shop and The Fighting Temptations, wrote the screenplay and is also one of several producers. Akil has previously directed TV shows The Game, Girlfriends, and Soul Food. Plot details are sketchy at the moment -- Patton will play the head of a family fighting with another, less wealthy family at a wedding in Martha's Vineyard -- but filming is set for June in Nova Scotia.

Even though Just Wright has gotten a very mixed response, with a Rotten Tomato rating of 48%, it garnered positive reviews from critics like Roger Ebert, although most of Just Wright's praise has been directed towards star Queen Latifah. It's also holding fast to its spot in the top five box office earners, with a total domestic gross of $14.6M since opening on May 14. There's no doubt that Patton's star is on the rise, so hopefully Jumping the Broom will not pigeonhole her as a spoiled brat or -- horror of horrors! -- a Bridezilla, since it's not clear whose wedding the two families will be attending.

The rich family/poor family story trope is a well-worn one, but it could be given a fresh lease on life with Akil behind the camera and Hunter, who's also written for The L Word and Charmed, on writing duty. We'll get a better view of the angle Jumping the Broom will take once more cast members are announced, perhaps, but for now let's at least hope it's not another typical wedding cat-fight extravaganza. Would it be too much to hope that it could explore the tensions behind well-off and less successful African-American families without resorting to cliches and still retaining a sense of humor?
CATEGORIES Casting, Sony, Cinematical