Bil’s rating (out of 5): 0.5.
USA, 2013. Fox Searchlight Pictures, TSG Entertainment, Sneak Preview Productions. Screenplay by David E. Talbert, based on his novel. Cinematography by Anastas N. Michos. Produced by David E. Talbert, Steven J. Wolfe. Music by Aaron Zigman. Production Design by Dina Lipton. Costume Design by Maya Lieberman. Film Editing by Troy Takaki.
It’s one of the most amazing films you’re likely to see, because it is amazing how very inept the director is in dealing with either the bouncy subject or the wonderful supporting cast. Paula Patton gives a grating, desperate performance as a lonely flight attendant whose oft-married mother (Jenifer Lewis, the best in the film) only makes her feel that much worse for still being single. When her little sister announces that she is getting hitched despite not even being finished college, Patton is unable to consider showing up at yet another ceremony alone. She only has a month to take care of the problem, so she and her two best friends come up with a surefire plan: track all of her exes as they fly across the country over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, arrange to ‘accidentally’ bump into them on flights, and reignite a relationship with at least one of them long enough to find herself with a steady man in time for the big day. Should be easy, except that there are perfectly good reasons why she left a lot of these men behind, including a now-famous musician without a dime in his pocket, and an ambitious politician (Taye Diggs) with a controlling personality and weird obsession with his pet dog. In one random scene, she sees a man kiss another man in an airport lobby which I assume means he’s someone she is crossing off the list too, though, as with most things in this film, it’s hard to tell what is actually going on. Meanwhile, her best friend since high school (Derek Luke) lives across the hall and we are expected to be too stupid to know where that is heading. David E. Talbert, working from his own novel, puts forth a strangely unmotivated tone of dull, murmuring energy that is directly at odds with the spritely colours and charming personalities abounding in this horrid misfire. Jill Scott and Adam Brody are adorable as Patton’s fellow mile-high soldiers, but there is such a rank level of stupidity in the contrived situations and dialogue that nobody comes out clean. Patton is constantly on an awkward high, her character never gets to have any genuine moments to even out the silly situations she frequently finds herself in, and then it’s capped off by that romantic comedy staple, the public confession. Avoid at all costs, this one is a real stinker.