by George Wolf
Want to know if you’ll enjoy the new romantic comedy Baggage Claim? Just take this quick test!
Dig, if you will, this picture: our heroine is caught in a sticky situation in a man’s apartment and needs a fast way out. After exclaiming “I am NOT going out on that fire escape!” there is a quick cut and she’s…out on the fire escape. She then makes a sad face and wonders, “could this get any worse?” After which, it immediately starts raining.
If that’s funny to you, please pick up the courtesy phone enjoy Baggage Claim. If not, stay far away, because that’s just a taste of the overly contrived, sadly obvious attempts to be charming that this lousy film is lousy with.
Paula Patton stars as Montana Moore, a flight attendant whose love life is a bit stagnant…oh, wait, I mean stalled on the runway! With her younger sister’s wedding approaching, “Mo” feels family pressure to find her future husband in time for the ceremony.
For help, she turns to her best buds at work: the oversexed Gail (Jill Scott) and the requisite gay friend Sam (Adam Brody). The three hatch a ridiculous plan to manipulate travel schedules so Mo can conveniently cross paths with traveling ex-boyfriends.
And, of course, all the exes immediately want to talk marriage when these meetings occur, because that’s what happens when exes run into each other, right?
There are so many things wrong with this film, and Patton is no help. Yes, she’s lovely, but while she’s been barely passable in her dramatic roles, her comedy chops amount to little more than exaggerated mannerisms and mugging for the camera.
Then again, considering her director, David E Talbert, also wrote the source novel and adapted the screenplay, this drama club approach must have been the goal all along.
Scott and Brody both have talent, but are saddled with roles written as tired caricatures, which is perfectly consistent with the entire script.
Check that, there are four funny lines in the film. Deadpan and sarcastically witty, they stand out like a smack upside the head, leaving you looking around wondering what just happened.
What happened is you’ve wasted time and money on a film assembled from the corpses of a thousand lazy rom-coms, waiting for the happy ending you’ve already guessed.