REVIEW: BAGGAGE CLAIM
SYNOPSIS: Determined to get engaged before her youngest sister's wedding, flight attendant Montana Moore (Paula Patton) finds herself with only 30 days to find Mr. Right. Using her airline connections to "accidentally" meet up with eligible ex-boyfriends and scour for potential candidates, she racks up more than 30,000 miles and countless comedic encounters, all the while searching for the perfect guy.
REVIEW: This unfortunate version of a romantic comedy, written and directed by David E. Talbert, is based on a recent novel he wrote by the same name, according to www.wikipedia.org. It parades a list of well known African American actors through the plot like a conga-line, without missing a beat. So much so, that one has to wonder if the producers were counting more on star power to sell this flick, than actual content and talent. The movie is so lazily and offensively conceived, that it feels like something went wrong during production and someone was actually trying to get revenge, as a result.
All of the secondary characters are rendered in the most basic way possible. That would be the sexually adventurous-don’t-need-a-man and sassy gay best friends; overbearing mother who doesn’t understand boundaries; and a “simpleton” nice-guy next door who is always around when you need him. Anyone who has ever seen a movie or read a book knows how this story will end because it hits all of the beats of a many likeminded films before it and never seeks to even pretend to do anything differently. This wouldn’t be an issue if the film was well executed, but instead viewers are treated to dialogue that seems like it was written by a high-school teenager documenting her senior year antics, with lots of random segments, and a plot with holes large enough to drive a Mack truck through it.
Some of the cheesiest parts include a mono-tone annoying voice-over, by the lead character, with convoluted observations of love and life. Some kinda’ random dance scene, from out of nowhere! A dream sequence that shows the main character how she really feels. Sexy montages to an R&B ballad complete with rose petals and ‘slo-mo’ shots of one of the love interests taking his shirt off! You get the picture, I’m sure.
If there is anything good to say about Baggage Claim, it would be the few jokes that came from time to time. And a few of those came from Miami’s 99 Jams own Rickey Smiley, from the Rickey Smiley morning show. Otherwise, the plot seems extremely farfetched and “high-school-ish,” to say the least, and characters appear very distilled and basic. The only character that even approaches the realm of realism is Derek Luke’s William character, which seems to have wandered in from another movie or sitcom (i.e. Friends). The rest of the cast is trapped in a charade and they don’t even seem to be in on the joke. The sole exception to this would be the few brief appearances by Christina Milian, who plays her character with an over-the-top sexy demeanor fully in line with the tone this movie gives off.
So unfortunately, this flick isn’t worth the theater visit and could possibly serve as a “let’s call it a night and watch a DVD,” type of movie. I believe two and a half out of five stars is a fair assessment here.
By Movi-Man Stan
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