Tony Rivetti Jr.
October 13, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

Paula Patton is such a terrific actress that even in the ultra-tacky romantic comedy Baggage Claim, she gives a luminous, thought-out performance, not just walking through but digging into the role of an eager, nervous doormat with a people-pleasing grin. The character may be an insult, but the portrayal redeems it. Patton plays Montana, a flight attendant in desperate need of a date for her sister’s wedding. So, employing her airline connections, she figures out when each of her ex-boyfriends is going to be traveling and arranges to be on each flight. That way she can reignite, one by one, all of these relationships that never worked in the first place! The loser exes include Tremaine Neverson (a.k.a. Trey Songz) as a music executive whose ”hot career” is all smoke and mirrors, and Taye Diggs — cast against type and enjoying it — as a politician who likes to control his women. Djimon Hounsou is also on hand as a very sweet jet-setter. Then there’s Montana’s old friend from high school, winningly played by Derek Luke. Gee, do you think he might be a romantic option? Baggage Claim is almost masochistically cheesy, with zero surprise. But Patton glides through it like Jennifer Aniston with a touch of Audrey Hepburn. C+

98 minutes
David E. Talbert
Derek Luke,
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Complete Coverage

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