baggage claim (poster)*Montana Moore (Paula Patton) is in quite a quandary.

The pretty stewardess is practically 30 years-old, the age by which her meddling mother (Jenifer Lewis) insists any young lady must marry to be considered respectable.

Meanwhile, her younger sister, Sheree (Lauren London), who’s just a sophomore in college, is already engaged to a big man on a campus (Terrence Jenkins), a Heisman trophy hopeful with a bright future in professional football. The blissfully betrothed are set to tie the knot in a month, and Montana is determined to turn one of her former boyfriends into a fiancé prior to their wedding day.

So, enlisting the assistance of a couple of colleagues, Gail (Jill Scott) and Sam (Adam Brody), she proceeds to hack into her airline company’s reservation schedule to determine the travel plans of her ex-beaus. Montana’s unsuspecting candidates include a hip-hop producer (Trey Songz), a Republican politician (Taye Diggs) and a filthy-rich businessman (Djimon Hounsou), but not the lifelong friend (Derek Luke) living right across the hall who had once proposed to her when they were in grade school.

Consequently, the desperate spinster starts crisscrossing the country to orchestrate “chance” encounters with well-heeled old flames while her Mr. Right might very well be the next-door neighbor she keeps leaving behind in Baltimore. And although the audience is never in doubt about the eventual resolution, it takes Montana most of the movie, of course, to wise up and realize that she’s meant to marry the working-class hero who has long admired her from afar.

Written and directed by David E. Talbert, Baggage Claim is a fairly-transparent soap opera which tends to telegraph its every punch. Thanks to the intermittent comic relief coming courtesy of the irreverent Greek chorus comprised of flamboyantly gay Sam and boy crazy Gail, this exercise in the obvious is nevertheless a lot of fun to watch. It also helps immeasurably that the protagonist and her hunky suitors are so easy on the eyes.

A pleasant, if predictable, romantic comedy trading in the same sort of moralizing and colorful characters of a typical Tyler Perry production. The only thing missing is a sassy, self-righteous, pistol-packing granny in a dress.

Very Good (3 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity and sexuality
Running time: 96 minutes
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

To see a trailer for Baggage Claim, visit:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9JwZRQXzNQ