Dave's Rating:


Air sickness

Ladies, if you are not married and reproducing little drooling variants of your DNA before you turn 30 you might as well kill yourself. Your ovaries will disintegrate, you will own multiple loneliness-signifying felines, your grandbaby-starved mother will disown you and your gay best friend will strike up an unlikely frenemy-alliance with your slutty female best friend right before they all abandon you, banishing you to your sad little apartment. No matter that you've decorated that place with an empowering letter "M" atop your corner bookshelf Just like Mary Tyler Moore, indicating that you, too, are gonna make it after all (in this case M is for Montana, played by Paula Patton) and no matter that you splurged somehow on that $3,500 Saarinen Womb Chair when Design Within Reach was having their never-annual 95% off sale in a bid to live alone and like it, you will die a solitary spinster in that expensive upholstery and the cats will devour your corpse. Human evolution and the 20th century -- and with it, feminism -- never happened. Sorry.

In this frantic, freaked-out cautionary tale about not being lovable enough to find a man who'll put a ring on it, a film where almost every single thing happening on screen is wrong or illogical or offensive or all three at once, Paula Patton's Montana is a flight attendant who can't seem to locate anyone as kind and sweet and sturdy and upright and loyal as her best childhood friend William (Derek Luke). So she employs her fellow flight attendants, both the gay best friend (Adam Brody: bow tie, talks with hands, would not be out of place in Almodovar's I'm So Excited!) and the slutty best friend (Jill Scott: snarling sex face at all times, unbuttoned blouses for max-cleavage) in a plan to jet across the country in a desperate criss-cross matrix during the month of December, hunting down ex-boyfriends to see if any of them have changed and might consider engaging her to be wed before Christmas (and really, who doesn't want to spend the holidays having a love-starved, jet-lagged conniption fit?).

See, there's a deadline; Montana's little sister (Lauren London) is getting married, too, and that means overbearing, much-divorced mom (Jenifer Lewis) is following Montana around doing that thing where you tap your wristwatch to indicate impatience. Meanwhile, nobody but the audience seems to understand that William is the guy Montana's going to marry at the end of the movie. It's not even remotely a spoiler that this will 100% definitely take place. The movie won't allow this bewildered woman to walk off down the road, head held high, like Holly Hunter at the end of Living Out Loud, much less drive off a cliff in a Thelma and Louise blaze of glory; she must be married or every brain-damaged card in this brain-damaged card house will come toppling down.

And then there's the most baffling confusion of all: Paula Patton is immensely, almost supernaturally appealing, lording herself over the entire insane, regressive, garbage kingdom like a benevolent, human-shaped, cotton candy princess. And the supporting cast seems to be having a good time, as well, in spite of the insipid woman-hating everything that director-writer David Talbert (working from his own novel) has barfed up onto screen. As a unit they perform the magic trick of emerging unstinkified from the decaying, fermented, compost of rotten rom-com hell. And if that sounds like a recommendation, it's not. Well... maybe. No, wait, it's not. It's Not. Not.


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