Review: Baggage Claim (Jumping Katherine Heigl’s Broom)

Baggage-Claim-Trailer_zps87bfc9c3.jpg

Montana Moore (Paula Patton) is choking under the weight of her collection of bridesmaids gowns. She’s supremely eligible despite the cloud of family expectation bearing down from all sides. So she rattles around the states, chasing after ex-boyfriends to see if one of them will spare her the humiliation of attending her little sister’s wedding alone. You guessed it: this game-show-inspired marriage comedy is about one date that stands for everything, and since there’s no time for the sting of rejection we’re treated to montages of Montana running, dragging luggage through airports, climbing out of garbage cans and seeking moral support from friends via smartphone. Montana’s torn between obedience and independence (an easy parallel to marital servitude and the single life), but her big problem isn’t the men.

This movie’s job is to retread the territory of the pre-martini, post-manicure, chick flick for the holidays and the African-American demographic. As far as the genre demands are concerned, it wins all pennants. What’s lacking, I regret, is a plausibly adult lead. I’ve loved Paula Patton universally until now, but her nuptial huntress is too childlike. Montana is a flight attendant surrounded by friends who treat her like a little sister. She’s soft, she’s vulnerable, but she doesn’t also have to be irrationally naïve. This might be the most incriminating point to mention that Baggage Claim, by David E. Talbert (First Sunday), is based on a best selling novel he wrote, and I tend to think men writing about the inner peril of the marriageable lady is, at best, an exercise in bogus anthropology. I can’t lie about my bias, no matter what conflicts it sometimes promotes. Montana's ego takes constant hits and her determination is like a fire stoked by her family and the world at large but her responses to this weird desperado-of-love scheme is pretty thin. Maybe they left the practical psychology on editing floor?

Montana’s dated the wrong men, but unlike her mother (Jennifer Lewis, playing a five time bride), refuses to say “yes” to insufferable breadwinners. This suggests her self-esteem is strong…strong enough for an obligatory speech about her will to reject bad suitors (with multi-karat offerings, in fact) but not so strong she’ll write her own playbook. Montana may be named after a state famous for its individuality and precious metals, but she doesn’t have much of either. In the future, this one might inspire a segment on a Japanese game show.

Despite these flaws, I’d be amiss if I didn’t admit I’d totally watch this while my nails dried. It’d be like a tiny vacation. All the best holidays begins with the slapstick of flight attendants.

Sara Vizcarrondo's Latest Blog Entries:

Production for The Two Faces of January began in Athens in August of 2012 and the first day was a major event. Director Hussein Amini planned to stage the...
With a cue from Mike Figgis and the digital revolution (oh, the handheld video and the synth tracks), South Korean provocateur Kim Ki-Duk has returned to his...
Last month, writer/director Paul Mazursky passed away and in honor of the late filmmaker the Landmark Theatre’s Anniversary Classic Series will screen Mazursky...
Around the Block is an Aussie Dangerous Minds with a smarter tack on the racial divide. Then again, maybe it looks that way because it’s easier to see racism...
A horror with threads of gross out comedy, Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero knows very well it’s cheap but loves itself anyway. After Josh (Brandon Eaton) has a...

More Baggage Claim News

Comments