'Baggage Claim' crashes, but Jill Scott flies
SURE, let's all pretend that Paula Patton - the gorgeous, occasional fictional love interest of Denzel Washington and glamorous real-life wife of Robin Thicke - is an awkward flight attendant who has trouble landing herself a man.
Sure. That's believable.
At least in the mind of writer/director David E. Talbert who centers "Baggage Claim," based on his titular novel, around Patton as Montana Moore, a woman in love with the idea of love. Her baby sister (Christina Milian) has just gotten engaged, leaving the older, lovelorn Montana in search of a fiance to bring as her date. Meeting a guy in traditional ways has failed her, so she and her buddies Gail (Philly's own Jill Scott) and Sam (Adam Brody) concoct a ludicrous plan to have Montana conveniently run into one of her ex-suitors via her job as stewardess. When they hop a flight, she follows.
"Baggage Claim" isn't so much a movie as it is a pastiche of rom-com cliches. As Montana traverses the country in search of a man (any man), she encounters the political hopeful (Taye Diggs), the musician (Trey Songz) and the worldly businessman (Djimon Hounsou). All the while, spending more time with her childhood-sweetheart best friend (Derek Luke), who lives conveniently next door.
Scott is fantastic as saucy Gail, but she's about the movie's only selling point. Patton is utterly miscast as the uber-sweet Montana. Only in a movie would a woman who looks and carries herself like Patton be cast as the desperate spinster. But it's not just her looks that make her wrong for the role. Patton's simply not a comedienne, while Scott is particularly adept at playing the man-hungry second fiddle.
The moral of the story is supposed to be empowering, but when Patton spends the length of the movie desperately trying to find a husband, it's almost as difficult to buy as Patton and a hopeless singleton.
On Twitter: @mollyeichel