Paula Patton is so perky!
Perky! Perky! Perky! In “Baggage Claim”!
There aren’t enough exclamation points in the universe to convey how cheery, chirpy and chipper Patton is playing a woman who’s been unlucky in love but determined to smile her way through life’s ups and downs, come what may.
And she’s got a lovely smile, seen in scene after scene blazing so brightly it could probably be detected by satellites in space.
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Her character, Montana Moore, is a flight attendant pushing 30 whose pushy mother has been pressuring her for years to get hitched and settle down. Of course, the fact that mom has had five husbands doesn’t exactly make her a poster child for the matrimonial state, but, well, that’s just the way it goes in this clichéd romantic comedy by writer-director David E. Talbert.
When her youngest sister announces her engagement, Montana decides she will find herself a mate in the 30 days before sis’s wedding date because she’s tired of being a bridesmaid and never a bride. Make sense? Um, no.
Her two best friends encourage her to track down old beaus to see whether any will now be ready for the role of husband-on-demand. Worst. Idea. Ever.
Much frantic running through airports ensues as Montana, smiling, always smiling, jets hither and thither to seek out the studly likes of Taye Diggs, playing an oily politician, and Djimon Hounsou, playing a wealthy hotelier.
All fall short for one reason or another. Meanwhile, back home, her old high-school sweetheart (Derek Luke) is on hand to offer a shoulder to cry on and … well you can guess the rest.
Patton flails in the physical-comedy scenes, but keeps smiling through the many humiliations her character endures. Though this silly picture will quickly vanish from memory, her smile, like that of the Cheshire cat, will linger in the viewer’s mind.
Soren Andersen: email@example.com