Paula Patton fizzes and flounces through “Baggage Claim,” a romantic comedy about a flight attendant who gives herself “30 days and 30 thousand miles” to find some man to “put a ring on it” before her sister’s wedding.
No gesture is too big, no half-hearted punchline too weak to sell with some wide-eyed bit of mugging from the star of “Jumping the Broom.” An actress who showed blessed restraint in films such as “Precious” practically gives herself a hernia trying to freshen this exercise in “Haven’t I seen this before?” Patton plays Montana, doomed to make poor choices in men, so upset when her younger sister (Lauren London) announces her engagement that she resolves to have a wed-able date for that sister’s nuptials.
Her mother taught her “You’re not a lady until you’re married,” and her mother’s played by Jenifer Lewis, so that’s to be expected.
MOVIE PREVIEW: 'Baggage Claim'
So Montana’s obligatory gay flight attendant pal (Adam Brody) and curvaceous, oversexed flight attendant BFF (Jill Scott) use their professional connections to hurl Montana in the path of her most promising (and successful) exes by tracking their every airline ticket. Yeah, it’s illegal and they know it, but she’s worth it.
With the help of ticket sales clerks, baggage handlers and a hilarious TSA security screener (Affion Crockett), Montana makes flight after flight, reconnecting with music producer Damon (Trey Songz), aspiring politician Langston (Taye Diggs), international businessman Quinton (Djimon Hounsou) and others. All the while, she’s not quite grasping that the fellow she grew up with and now lives right across the hall from (Derek Luke) is her Forever Man.