Baggage Claim (2013): David Talbert’s Unfunny Comedy

I have nothing against contrived and improbable romantic comedies, if they are well executed and entertaining.

But, alas, this is not the case of “Baggage Claim,” which is not a bad title, but, as written and directed by David E. Talbert, it’s a TV sitcom posing as a big-screen feature. The sharply uneven scenario is based on Talbert’s 2003 novel (which I have not read).

Yes, there are a few chuckles here and there, but “Baggage Claim” should be faulted for wasting the talents of an attractive cast that deserves better.

This is the second bad picture this year set on the air and dealing with flying attendants following the airless and unfunny “I’m So Excited,” arguably Almodovar’s worst film.

The premise is rather silly: How far is an appealing but single flight attendant willing to do to get a date, not to mention hitched, especially when she is thirtysomething?

This is the dilemma faced by the sexy TransAlliance stewardess Montana (Paula Patton), whose relationships with men have never been satisfying, or to use her own words “have never been cleared for takeoff.”

As maid of honor for her younger sister (Lauren London), she is close to hysteria, full of doubts about her self-worth and merits as perceived by others.

Making things worse is her mother, a five-time married woman (Jenifer Lewis) who puts pressure on her eldest daughter. She seems to be relieved, whenever Montana gets a date, no matter who the man is, hoping she can get the best eligible bachelor around.

Montana and those around her are excited when the latest beau (Boris Kodjoe) is a rich guy, who may propose in his boat. We, however, immediately sense that he is a heel and a fake.

Most of the cast is stuck with underwritten (one-note) parts. Her peer flight attendants, Sam and Gail (Adam Brody and Jill Scott) are the co-conspirators of Montana’s scheme. Meanwhile, back home in Maryland, her childhood friend, the earnest William (Derek Luke, lives close by with his girlfriend (Christina Milian).

Tremaine Neverson plays a music mogul, and Taye Diggs is a wannabe, eccentric politician, always seen with his dog, Juicy. Djimon Hounsou plays a suave hotelier and potentially alluring candidate.

It’s hard to tell if Talbott is satirizing the sexual and romantic mores in contemporary American society, because the scenario is so tepid and earnest and the tone so uncertain.