It is so rare to find a really good
romantic comedy these days that you want to forgive Baggage Claim's
faults. And maybe the movie is just catching me in a good
mood, but I think I will. It is hardly trailblazing, trolling in rom-com
clichés and some shallow characters and a rather unlikely storyline.
We know who Mr. Right is the moment he appears on screen (hell, the
character is even named Wright!) even though our heroine takes about 90
minutes to pick up on it.
But screw it. I liked Baggage
Claim much more that I was expecting to. Sometimes you just have
to give in to your visceral reaction. Baggage Claim is far from
perfect, but dammit, I liked it. A lot. And if you go into it in
the right shut-off-your-inner-critic mood, you undoubtedly will enjoy it as
Writer/director David E. Talbert adapts his own 2003 novel (of the same
name) about a gorgeous flight attendant named Montana (Paula Patton) who is
approaching 30 and has just found out that her college-aged sister (Lauren
London) is getting married and her five-time married mom (Jenifer Lewis) is
pressuring Montana to find a husband, too.
Problem is, Montana has just found out the guy she thought was Mr. Right
(Boris Kodjoe) is actually married with a pregnant wife. Therefore
Montana has 30 days to find the perfect date to little sister's wedding.
This task is taken up by Montana's two besties
at the airline, fellow flight attendants the sex-mad Gail (played by singer
Jill Scott) and sensitive gay buddy Sam (Adam Brody). They figure it's
too late to start from scratch, so they will have their friends throughout
the airline track guys Montana had previously dated so that Montana can
"appear" on their flight.
spends the next few weeks running though airports, flying constantly cross
country and catching up with guys that she had already broken up with once.
is the happening music producer Damon (Tremaine Neverson, a.k.a. singer Trey
Songz) who acts the big shot, but turns out not to have a dime to his name.
is Langston (Taye Diggs), the black Republican running for Congress who
wants a beautiful woman by his side, but not to have her own opinions.
is Quinton (Djimon Hounsou), the multi-millionaire who promises her an
around-the-world trip of luxury and sex, but refuses to promise her a
then there is her long-time platonic best friend William (Derek Luke), who
lives next door to Montana with his sketchy girlfriend, but is willing to
drop everything to rescue Montana every time her plans go awry (which is
pretty much always).
said earlier, it is obvious from the jump that William is the perfect guy
for Montana, so the film has to go out of its way to keep them apart as long
as it can.
The wedding-mad storyline gives Baggage Claim a bit of an
old-fashioned feel. Despite the fact that all of her friends and
Montana herself say that she should not be defined by a man, she is still
willing to go to crazed lengths to find Mr. Right.
However, cheesy, old-fashioned and slightly clichéd as it may be (they even
have a scene of the heroine rushing across town to the airport to catch a
guy before he flies off), Baggage Claim is fun and smart. It's
a lot better than it has any right to be.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2014 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: February 4, 2014.