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Review: Baggage Claim


After her younger sister’s engagement, and her mother’s five husbands, Montana, a flight attendant, is the only one in her family who is not married. She decides that she wants to show up to her sister’s engagement party with a man and a ring on her finger. With the help of her friends Montana decides to revisit her failed relationships, in an attempt to get engaged within 30 days.

Paula Patton (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Precious) plays Montana Moore. Jill Scott and Adam Brody appear in stereotypical performances as Montana’s flight attendant friends. The long list of men to appear in Montana’s life includes Djimon Hounsou, Taye Diggs, Derek Luke, Boris Kodjoe, and Trey Songz. Jenifer Lewis also appears in a small, but strong, performance as Montana’s monologue belting mother, Catherine.

David E. Talbert’s film starts off on a sour note, introducing two extremely stereotypical characters; Sam, Montana’s gay, white best friend, and another friend Gail, taking the classic role of the large, horny, sassy black woman. The film continues to degrade, as we are made aware of Montana’s reasoning in her decision to get engaged. According to Montana and her family, a woman has nothing to live for if she does not marry and start a family

The film struggles because it feels painfully unoriginal. Besides the fact that it shares an extremely similar plot to the horrifically bad 2011 film What’s Your Number?, it just presents nothing that we have not seen in romantic comedies many times before.

Patton is not a weak actor, but she is just not given much to work with in this film. Jenifer Lewis gives an extremely solid, though ridiculously melodramatic, performance as Catherine. Unfortunately Lewis’ character is poorly written, and for unexplained reasons changes her strict expectations of her daughter. Brody and Scott’s roles, though stereotypical, are at times very funny; the two clearly carry the film in comedic sense.

One of the biggest issues in the film is that it demands far too much out of its viewers, asking them to suspend their disbelief to unreasonable lengths. Are we supposed to believe that flight attendants can look into passengers information and find out where their next flights are going with no trouble or consequence? Also, how can a woman with Paula Patton’s looks struggle THAT much to find someone to marry her?

Baggage Claim is not a complete failure. It’s not as good or entertaining as other black ensemble movies, like last year’s hit Think Like a Man and Jumping The Broom (also starring Patton), but it is certainly not wasted time in the theatre. The film as a whole is decently comical, but too many jokes fail to take off.

Should You See It?
It really depends. If you’re a fan of black ensemble films or films by Tyler Perry, then Baggage Claim is a must see. If not, there are plenty of great films released this week to choose from.

[star v=25]

Matt Hoffman

Matthew Hoffman is a Toronto-based cinephile who especially enjoys French films and actresses over the age of 50; including but not limited to: Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Streep, and Jacki Weaver.