Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Director David Talbert Puts In A 'Baggage Claim'

By Darlene Donloe

Montana Moore is not only a beautiful, successful flight attendant.  She’s a great sister and daughter and a supportive friend. Oh, and one more thing – she’s single. 

There’s nothing really wrong with that. However, if you have a mother who is constantly reminding you of the fact that you’re not married and a younger sister who is about to walk down the aisle – it might just play with your head.


So, what does Montana (Paula Patton) do?  She allows two of her friends Gail (Jill Scott) and Sam (Adam Brody) to devise a plan to find Montana the perfect guy to bring to her sister’s wedding.

It’s a crazy adventure that has Montana “running into” some of ex-boyfriends on a quest to see if there is still a spark.

The plan keeps her up in the air (in more ways than one) as she places herself on planes that some of exes are also booked on.


In the meantime, her best friend, William Wright, (Derek Luke), with whom she pours out her heart about her failed relationships, tries his best to keep her focused on what really matters.

Why would a successful, beautiful, professional woman goes to those lengths to find a man?

This is a wacky comedy that has a message about true love, expectations and settling.

Baggage Claim, (Fox Searchlight) directed, produced and written by David E. Talbert (DT), stars Paula Patton (PP), Derek Luke (DL), Taye Diggs (TD), Boris Kodjoe (BK), Jill Scott (JS), Adam Brody, Jenifer Lewis (JL), Djimon Hounsou (DH), Lauren London, Christina Milian, Tia Mowry, La La Anthony, Rickey Smiley, Ned Beatty, Terrence J and Affion Crockett. It opens nationwide Friday, Sept. 27.

This is Talbert’s second feature. First Sunday, released in 2008, was his first. Baggage Claim is based on his 2003 novel of the same name.

I recently caught up with the cast of Baggage Claim to talk about the message of the movie.

DD:  Mr. Talbert, do you believe men and women can just be friends?

DT:  I’ve been in love with a beautiful woman for 15 years.  I like to write from reality.

DD: You write like you really like Montana Moore.

DT:  Montana Moore is my favorite character.

DD: Talk about your cast.

DT:  The cast is amazing. Paula was the magnet that attracted everyone else.


DD: Paula why did you want to do this film?

PP: I read the script out loud. I knew I wanted this for a black woman to be the lead of a romantic comedy. This has been a dream come true. It’s a passion project.  I just love the script.

DD: Paula, you have Jenifer Lewis as your mother in the film.

PP: Yeah it can’t get any better than that.  Jenifer is an amazing actress. She is so full of life. She’s willing to be vulnerable.

JL: I had great chemistry with Paula and loved having her as my daughter.

DD: Mr. Talbert, you have Jenifer Lewis in your film.

DT: The best part with me was having Jenifer cuss me out after every take.

DD:  Ms. Lewis, you’re in a David Talbert movie.

JL: What David gave me was a true arch to my character. That doesn’t happen with every role. If the script has been shit, I would have done this film. I don’t give a f*ck. This son of a bitch is funny as hell.

DD: Jenifer, talk about working with Derek Luke.

JL: This son of a bitch is so damn pretty that I have a headache.  I’m feeling bipolar, bicoastal and bisexual.  We have a great movie. It’s fun. I’m proud of the entire team. I was also proud of my performance. This is my 63rd movie. David gave me one of my best performances.

DD: Derek, could you relate to your character?

DL: I think I related to my character, William, because everyday you get to meet people.  He’s a good guy. My mother groomed me as a William, so I had to play him.  

DD: Jill Scott, why did you want to play your character, Gail?

JS:  Seemed like it would be a lot of fun. I’ve played a number of characters in fat suits. Gail is about fun. I wanted to have fun. I like her. I’ll have to watch it two or three times to actually know if I liked her. It was something new to do. I need to be a Renaissance woman. The more I can do – the more I will.


DD: Mr. Kodjoe, why did you want to be in this movie?

BK: I took the movie because I wanted to be in a movie with all of these people. I really wanted to get back at my wife. She’s made out with all of these people. People like Djimon and Taye.  What I really liked was there were give good guys who could have ended up with the prize.

DD: Do you think men and women can be friends?

BK: Absolutely. We (Nicole Ari Parker) started off as friends. We were good friends for two years. We actually like each other

DD: Taye, what did you think of the script?

TD:  I was laughing out low when I read the script.

DD: Djimon, do you like your character?

DH: The thing I like about my character, Quinton, is that there is an opportunity to say something. I think the western countries think we’re (Africans) in loin cloths chasing gazelles. We’re also elegant human beings. That was important to me. I wanted to open the eyes about who the African is.  What I have noticed is that we spend too much time focusing on what we don’t want instead of what we want.

Baggage Claim, a David E. Talbert Film, is Rated PG-13; Running time: 97 minutes.

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