Director David E. Talbert made a film called First Sunday in 2008. Apparently I watched this movie, and even wrote a few hundred words about it, but I’ll be damned if I can remember a single scene from it. If there’s any justice in this world, I’ll forget about Talbert’s Baggage Claim even quicker. Judging from what I wrote about First Sunday, Talbert hasn’t exactly advanced as a filmmaker. The plot is dime novel junk, with Paula Patton playing Montana, a flight attendant who’s had difficulty find Mr. Right. When her much younger sister (Lauren London) becomes engaged, Montana decides to find a man by her sister’s wedding by any means necessary. So, with the help of her co-workers (Jill Scott and Adam Brody, uncomfortably camping it up as the film’s gay accessory), she concocts a plan to ambush old boyfriends on their various flights, efficiently maximizing the film’s aptitude for plot contrivances. Even worse, it takes the movie about 20 minutes for the story to kick in, as we have to waste time detouring through Montana’s doomed relationship with her seemingly perfect man (Boris Kodjoe), culminating in the most awkward, unintentionally least sexy sex scene of the year. Worse, none of this matters, since it’s obvious that Montana’s going to end up with her old friend and all-around nice guy William (Derek Luke) from his first moment on screen. And even after all that, Baggage Claim’s most depressing aspect is all the talent it wastes. Patton, Luke, Scott, and Djimon Hounsou have all done better (and occasionally great) work, and deserve to do better work in the future. That this kind of pap is what they’re stuck with is a shame and a comment on the difficulty talented black actors have in getting quality roles. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make Baggage Claim any better, just more frustrating. It also says something that a film filled with truly talented, charming performers is just this awful.
Director: David E. Talbert
Writer: David E. Talbert
Producer: Steve J. Wolfe and David E. Talbert
Cast: Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Taye Diggs, Jill Scott, Boris Kodjoe, Adam Brody and Djimon Hounsou