With its zany setup, zigzagging plot and surplus characters, “Baggage Claim” unfortunately constitutes a textbook example of a “Mouse Trap” romantic comedy.
Since it's obvious from the outset which man our highflying heroine (Paula Patton) should land, writer-director David E. Talbert packs the interminable 96-minute adaptation of his novel with a plastic-fake, candy-colored tower of contrivances and complications every bit as tiring but not nearly as thought-provoking as the board game.
Although Patton (“Precious”) exudes charm and exhibits a knack for physical comedy, she doesn't have much character to work with playing Montana Moore, a perpetually single 30-year-old flight attendant desperately seeking a husband, as long as he happens to be a frequent flier circling the seven-figure salary range.
When her latest hopeful, sexy six-pack-packing businessman Graham (Boris Kodjoe), spoils her caviar dreams with his caddish ways, Montana seeks comfort from her longtime best pal William (Derek Luke, who deserves better than this movie), who lives across the hall with his obnoxious girlfriend Taylor (Christina Milian) but is clearly meant to be the Harry to Montana's Sally.
With her pushy five-times-married mother (Jenifer Lewis) already pressuring her, Montana goes into a tailspin when she hears her younger sister Sheree (Lauren London) is engaged to the perfect guy.
Montana is determined to land a Mr. Right of her own in time for her sister's fancy engagement dinner, so she goes along when her happily single workplace besties Gail (Jill Scott, especially irritating) and Sam (Adam Brody) hatch a ridiculously far-fetched scheme to break federal law and cyberstalk several of Montana's most eligible ex-boyfriends on their holiday travels. They plan to book Montana on the same flights as her former beaus and see if the second time is the charm.
Through a series of running-through-the-airport montages, Montana re-connects with successful record producer Damon Diesel (Trey Songz), who always needs a woman to take care of him; suave hotel magnate Quinton Jamison (Djimon Hounsou), who has already been divorced twice; and congressional candidate Langston Jefferson Battle III (Taye Diggs), a dog-fixated jerk who is seeking the perfect running mate and becomes the butt of one of the movie's best jokes.
Talbert sneaks in a few funny one-liners and genuinely touching scenes, but he mostly seems content to keep Montana scurrying through a meaningless maze of boring rom-com cliches, eye-roll-inducing humiliations and intolerable characters en route to the movie's nice, predictable ending.
And “Baggage Claim” is too caught in that trap to ever get off the ground.
— Brandy McDonnell