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Choosy lover Montana Moore gives a tour of her private aisle

Felicia Haney | 9/27/2013, 3:45 p.m.

By FELICIA C. HANEY

Staff Writer

With lost luggage, extra fees and long waits at the carousel, baggage is the last thing I’d be looking to claim after taking a trip. But, when you’re looking for love, you’re willing to put claim to a little bit of baggage as long as someone can handle all of yours!

Montana Moore is no different; in fact, she’s probably the worst. You know, the kind who stands there in a daze, looking so hard at all the other bags rolling by that she doesn’t even recognize hers as it floats right by her. Even with a big Cracker Jack box-sized ribbon wrapped around it waving “here I am!”

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…” Nope, not the tale of Gilligan, but just as equally goofy and altogether lovable is flight attendant Montana Moore in the David E. Talbert rom-com film “Baggage Claim,” out Friday. Portrayed by Paula Patton, Montana is anything but short on looks, so what’s taking her so long to find her first mate? One would think by the age of 30 she would have finally bagged “the one.” Well, at least if you were her overbearing, serial marrying mother (Jennifer Lewis) you’d think so. Although Montana’s had her fair share of flighty relationships, she hasn’t given up on love. She’s just been booted to the standby list.

In fact, the always a bridesmaid, never a bride, is even more desperate to find it since she’s been asked to be the maid of honor at her ring-flaunting baby sister’s (Lauren London) wedding. Not only is Montana unmarried, she doesn’t even have a date. And, to top it all off… She’s only got a month to land an aisle seat or at least pull off a potential prospect, removing the thorn from her side and the dagger from her poor mother’s heart. Cue her quirky friends Gail and Sam who come in the form of Jill Scott and Adam Brody. Her love consigliores devise a harebrained scheme in true romantic comedy fashion that sends Montana off in a tailspin on a 30-day tour… a 30-day tour. Shuffling through a list of prior Mr. Right Nows, her friends find candidates that may have been overlooked as Mr. Right.

“Accidentally” bumping into these old beaus, Montana meets up with former flames who “just so happen” to be on her flights – the skipper, who ditches her at a hotel before she lands in a dumpster; the millionaire and somebody’s wife; the music star; a secret professor of his love for her; and the congressman (wannabe) with a weird Juicy fetish – now, who’s gonna walk Montana down the aisle?

If you haven’t already figured it out, it won’t take long once the opening credits have ended. Like most romantic comedies, you can pretty much follow the floor plan on this one and predict the plot as it goes. But there are quite a few funny bombshells – mostly delivered by Scott and Brody – that make it good, chuckle-worthy entertainment to watch along the way. Tia Mowry and Tremaine Neverson a.k.a. Trey Songz also pop out of a pleasantly surprising comedic acting bag as well, showing different sides than we’re used to seeing. A cute film with a cute cast including Boris Kodjoe, Derek Luke, Djimon Hounsou, Terrence Jenkins, Taye Diggs, Christina Milian, LaLa Anthony and the list goes on… You’d be hard pressed to find any flaws in the eye candy area. Only problem is, if you look down to move your hand from the popcorn bucket to wipe the drool, you may miss ‘em. Some of the co-stars roles play out more like cameos.

Based on Talbert’s 2003 book of the same name, he does a decent job of bringing the story from printed pages to the big screen without pigeonholing his audience as ethnic only. But, with not nearly as much time in film life as there is in book life, there are elements that I would like to have seen more developed. As a result, it left unanswered questions like “what happened next?” If you don’t read the book, you’ll have to rely on your imagination or personal experience in that area to make an educated guess.

Nevertheless, Montana’s milestones – or landmines, however you look at them – in the field of dating are a trip. They’ll have you and your friends remembering the ghosts of girlfriends/boyfriends past and all the crazy things you did for love.

A girls’ night out winner that will have you dishing details. It's also a solid date night discussion starter. Check it out Friday, Sept. 27 in theaters nationwide.

“Baggage Claim” is rated PG-13 with a run time of 96 minutes.