Baggage Claim

2013-11-08 08:40
Baggage Claim
What it's about:

Determined to get engaged before her youngest sister's wedding, flight attendant Montana Moore 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 almost 50 000 km and countless comedic encounters, all the while searching for the perfect guy.

What we thought:

I have yet to walk out of a cinema before a film had finished, but there were plenty of moments during this one where I was tempted to.

In the end, I stuck it out. I have watched many bad films before this and, doubtless, I will watch many more. Perhaps there will come a day when I throw in the towel and walk out, but it would not be this day and it would not be this film.

No, I would not let Baggage Claim defeat me.

But, oh, how it tried.

Paula Patton (who is like the second coming of Halle Berry) plays Montana Moore, a flight attendant whose mother continually harasses her to find a man so that she can finally settle down. When her younger sister announces her own impending nuptials, Montana decides that she has to find someone so that she won't have to go to her sister's wedding alone.

And that’s the plot. It’s the kind of thing that might have made a fun screwball comedy for Doris Day in the 50s. That would have been fitting as the film’s sensibilities are from that era as well. There’s something deeply sad about watching this character fawning over a potential beau because he is handsome, rich and may help to define her. That one of the characters says as much is a rare display of self-awareness on the filmmakers’ part and if they had shown any more, the film might have been better. Or not made at all.

Montana ropes her two best friends and fellow flight attendants, Gail and Sam in to help her with her crisis. Gail is a sassy man-hunting woman and Sam is a whacky gay man. They help to make Montana more interesting because Montana certainly isn’t interesting by herself. There is nothing about her that defines her as a character and the only way you will know what is going on with her is by the dazzle of her smile, the depth of her frown or the song that is playing on the soundtrack.

Montana’s neighbour is a handsome, charming man that she has known since school and both seem to enjoy each other’s company. His name is William Wright. Mr Wright. That’s wit and subtlety all in one package right there. That Montana doesn’t put two and two together should tell you why she is a flight attendant and not a professor at MIT.

I guess none of this would matter if the film was in any way funny. It isn’t. Whole patches pass without anything of any comedic value. It did however satisfy my need for film cliches by having a race to the airport. I knew that there would be such a scene from the film's opening moments and when it happened, I watched with smug satisfaction.

Baggage Claim was written and directed by David E. Talbert and is also based on his book. He directs the film in a way that suggests he spends a great deal of time watching R&B music videos from the 90s. Having now had two passes at the material, perhaps a third attempt would satisfy him, but that isn’t meant as encouragement.

This is a bad film. A bad, bad film.

Baggage Claim is a romantic comedy but it is also an endurance test; an ordeal set to challenge the human capacity for withstanding sheer awfulness.
Read more on:    paula patton  |  adam brody  |  movies

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