CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
Film Review: ‘Baggage Claim’ is Equivalent of a Crash Landing
CHICAGO – Experiencing an unfunny comedy is one of the most painful time wasters in the movie going adventure – not only will that time never come back, but wanting to laugh when no motivation for hilarity is produced is like having eternal hiccups. “Baggage Claim” (hic) is (hic) that (hic) sort of movie.
The premise is what kills it before it gets off the ground. Paula Patton plays a woman who is panicking because she is about to turn 30 years old, and has never married (gasp!). Apparently she is supposed to, since her mother has married five times (ha-ha). This setting back of feminism aside, Patton’s attempt at playing a wacky flight attendant is as flat as a runway – she has no timing or comic flair. The film is also awash in upper middle class porn – no matter what the social/economic level of the characters, everybody has an abundance of expensive material goods and living conditions. Also ridiculous are ex-boyfriends of Paula Patton, they are all rich men at the top of their professions. Can’t a girl find a way marry for money these days?
Montana (Patton) is a loser by movie standards – she is about to turn thirty and needs to get married, despite having a decent flight attendant job and the looks to win a beauty pageant. She has the requisite best friends, sassy Gail (Jill Scott) and (wait-for-it) her gay flight attendant colleague Sam (Adam Brody). Her mother Catherine (Jenifer Lewis), married five times, is pressuring Montana to take the plunge, especially since her younger sister has gotten engaged.
For some reason, everybody takes on a project to have Montana meet up with all her ex-boyfriends over 30 days – Thanksgiving to Christmas, naturally – which includes Langston (Taye Diggs), Graham (Boris Kodjoe) and a new guy in the sweepstakes, Quinton (Djimon Hounsou). After going through a series of wacky dates with these guys, she ends up at her sister’s rehearsal dinner with a different attitude, trailed by a childhood friend named William (Derek Luke).
Photo credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures