Paula Patton is given an opportunity at the leading lady role in Baggage Claim and it is off to a good start. The movie harkens back to the heyday of Black romantic comedies – when we were called Buppies – with an attractive cast, trusted sidekicks for the punch line and the happy ever after ending. But in Baggage Claim who will she spend happy ever after with?
Baggage Claim is the tale of Montana Moore’s (Patton) quest to find a man, at this point almost any man will do. She is a flight attendant and her co-workers decide to help fangle her to meet a parade of exs over the next 30 days in hopes of rekindling a flame. Sam, played by Adam Brody, is your usual gay best buddy and the lovely Jill Scott in the role of Gail is your usual man crazy girlfriend.
Along the way Montana gives it a second chance with Trey Songz as a trifling wannabe big time record producer and the charming “give you the world” Djimon Hounsou who is passing out diamonds and while he won’t promise marriage he is happy to offer a trip around the world – first class.
The ex who receives the most attention is Taye Diggs, playing the next great “Black Republican Great Hope” seeking a running “mate”. This guy has serious control issues – well he is a republican after all. Ladies will enjoy his 1,000-watt smile as usual, but will he win Montana’s heart?
Perhaps Montana is spending all her time looking around the world for love when it is right across the hall where her best friend from childhood William (Derek Luke) lives. Will nice guys finally finish first?
As usual, Jenifer Lewis playing Montana’s mom steals the show. Married five times, she is very worried Montana won’t make it down the aisle the first time. In Baggage Claim, Lewis not only comes through with the laughs, but her heart to heart moment with her strong willed daughter, is genuinely moving.
Patton is probably happy to talk about something other than her husband, Robin Thicke, infamous “twerking” performance with Miley Cyrus at the MTV Award Show recently. And since she is not appearing in a movie with Denzel Washington she actually gets to live to see happy ever after.
Baggage Claim is a good flick for date night or with a gang of girlfriends. It’s a bit forgettable but hopefully it will enjoy enough success to lead to more African American romantic comedies in the near future.