Paula Patton fizzes and flounces through "Baggage Claim," a romantic comedy about a flight attendant who gives herself "30 days and 30,000 miles" to find some man to "put a ring on it" before her sister's wedding.
No gesture is too big, no halfhearted punchline too weak to sell with some wide-eyed bit of mugging from the star of "Jumping the Broom." An actress who showed blessed restraint in films such as "Precious" practically gives herself a hernia trying to freshen this exercise in "Haven't I seen this before?" Patton plays Montana, doomed to make poor choices in men, so upset when her younger sister (Lauren London) announces her engagement that she resolves to have a wed-able date for that sister's nuptials.
Her mother (Jennifer Lewis) taught her, "You're not a lady until you're married." So Montana's obligatory gay flight attendant pal (Adam Brody) and curvaceous, oversexed flight attendant BFF (Jill Scott) use their professional connections to hurl Montana in the path of her most promising (and successful) exes by tracking their every airline ticket.
With the help of ticket sales clerks, baggage handlers and a hilarious TSA security screener (Affion Crockett), Montana re-connects with music producer Damon (Trey Songz), aspiring politician Langston (Taye Diggs), international businessman Quinton (Djimon Hounsou) and others.
She doesn't grasp that the fellow she grew up with and now lives right across the hall from (Derek Luke) is her Forever Man.
The mechanics of getting Montana on the flights is the movie's quickest and funniest part, with all the conference-call plotting with her pals and the tricks her airport screener friend Cedric (Crockett) plays to get her through line quickly.
The supporting players score the occasional laugh, but hiring the tiresome Lewis to play another brassy mom and making the rest of the cast play cliches and "types" give this romantic comedy too much baggage to overcome.
PLOT Flight attendant decides she has 30 days to get married.
RATING PG-13 (sexual content, language)
CAST Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Djimon Hounsou, Taye Diggs
BOTTOM LINE Never gets off the ground.