PAULA PATTON DEREK LUKE ADAM BRODY JILL SCOTT TAYE DIGGS DJIMON HOUNSOU
New romantic comedy Baggage Claim is an insult to all women, both watching and portrayed in the film. Up and coming star Paula Patton (Precious, Disconnect) gets her first lead role and it’s pretty obvious that she isn’t ready. Baggage Claim doesn’t do the beautiful actress any favors, as she is cast as desperate, uncreative and spineless. The men and women in Baggage Claim are playwright and “video writer” David E. Talbert’s creation; people based on their agenda and not personality, ambitions or dreams. The talent in the cast is underserved by the need to make a ridiculous joke out of everything. What’s even worse are the scenarios, plot devices and especially the conclusion, which is as predictable as a coin toss.
Influenced by her mother who has been married five times, flight attendant Montana Moore (Patton) is desperate for a husband as it is; but when her younger sister becomes engaged, Montana is disgusted at the fact of being a single bridesmaid one more time. Her co-flight attendant buddies Sam (Brody) and Gail (Scott) devise a plan to help her bump into all of her exes during the holiday travel season in hopes that one of the past flames might be the key to her future. With each guy she recoils back to William (Luke), her best friend from high school who is always there in her time of need.
The film opens with a voice over from Montana explaining how you are not a girl unless you are married before 30, and not a woman until you have two kids by 40. Montana’s sick and twisted logic of romance, love and marriage gets worse throughout the film. Calling this character underdeveloped is an understatement. Besides her desperate need for a man, never once does the film stop for a second for her to self-reflect. She is portrayed as a helpless girl with talents only for wearing heels, putting on makeup and chasing after boys. The guys are portrayed with just as little thought and creativity. In one sex scene we get a slow motion unbuttoning of the shirt with an extreme close up of the abdominal area, which serves only gratuitous guilty pleasures.
The real low point of the film is a reenactment of embarrassing high school dance moves between Patton and Luke, which serves as a neon flashing sign to the inevitable ending. Baggage Claim is simply a comedy strung together with a long line of unfunny jokes and an old fashion concept of the modern woman. Magically, in the end Montana finds herself and manages to have a mature conversation for the first time with her mother (Jenifer Lewis), likely the only scene that exists to show the leading lady as a woman with any self-esteem or confidence.
Final Thought – As unforgivable as bags send to the wrong connection.
Grade D+ By: Dustin Chase