By Jack Rico
The “1-4-0″: Paula Patton gave it a nice try, but Baggage Claim is no good. It is too formulaic, riddled with old clichés and ridiculous situations. Romance dies here.
The Gist: An airline stewardess desperately needs a man for her sister’s wedding so she sets out to meet every ex-boyfriend she had to disastrous results.
The Highlights: For quite some time now, Hollywood romantic comedies have given the supporting leads the best lines to deliver. Judy Greer is the embodiment of that. She’s made every rom-com better because of her witty lines and brilliant comic delivery. Jill Scott and Adam Brody follow in her footsteps here to much laughter. They are the best part of the film. Too bad director David E. Talbert didn’t think of making a movie around them.
The Lowlights: Almost everything. Most of the characters have a cartoon tone to them, Paula Patton is too cute for her own good and it comes off as quixotic and phony, the script is formulaic and the situations are too contrived to take seriously. This rom-com shouldn’t exist today. For the most part, movies have represented the zeitgeist of our times. For example, movies back in the early 30’s represented fantastical, escapist fare because of the depression of our country, the 50’s saw the rise of sci-fi flicks and big musicals, and the 70’s exhibited a gritty feel, war and romance filled the screens as well as complex narratives. For Baggage Claim – shot in 2013 – its worst flaw is it doesn’t feel contemporary at all. It feels recycled and behind the times. It needs to have brought a fresh take and it failed horrifically at that. It went the easy route in repeating “the old and familiar”. The only thing working today in 2013 are pure romance stories or raunchy rom-coms, something this film doesn’t possess at all.
Pay or Nay?: Nay it. Romance comedies today aren’t what they used to be and it is because of films like this. Baggage Claim panders to the lowest common denominator, and even though an audience for this film will exist, the masses will reject it for its lack of depth, lack of realistic romance and cartoony characters. My suggestion is that men should watch a real rom-com with depth like Don Jon and women should watch this year’s Before Midnight or the soon to be released About Time for their unconditional love kick.
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content and some language
Release Date: September 27, 2013
Screenplay: David E. Talbert
Director(s): David E. Talbert
Starring: Paula Patton, Taye Diggs, Jill Scott
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Film Genre: Romantic Comedy