Perhaps Pam Grier's down-at-heel air hostess in Jackie Brown was the last nail in the coffin. The least of Grier's achievements in what is still Quentin Tarantino's best film was to reveal in just a few moments the grim reality of a working life on a budget airline. Air travel and air hostesses finally lost the lusty luster that was the delight of Roger Sterling and those classic Bernbach ads for American Airlines in the 1960s. Updated to 2013, our hostess in Baggage Claim is Paula Patton, but rather than steal from a violent gun dealer to secure her future, she's going to use her time in the air to snag a husband. Thereafter, this looks to be a rote romantic comedy replete with arch gay friend, funny fat friend and a heroine incapable of breathing out.
A little kids' movie and a big kids' movie are are the other big releases this weekend. The former is Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, the sequel to a Sony animation that won over seemingly everyone upon its release in 2009. The trailer suggests Jurassic Park but with sentient food instead of dinosaurs. The latter is Don Jon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut—and on the evidence of the trailer, a terrifyingly confident one. Apparently a comedy about porn addiction, it asks the question that has troubled many young men perhaps: If your girlfriend were Scarlett Johansson, would you still use porn? Which begs another question: Is this film less sleazy for being shellacked in golden boy Gordon-Levitt's bulletproof charm, or more sleazy?
Elsewhere, renaissance autodidact and perfume salesman James Franco shows up in a movie version of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, evidently made by someone who has never heard of Preston Sturges, while L.A. heavy metal band Metallica features some of its gigs in a movie it chose to call Through the Never. It's been 13 years since Metallica sued Napster, and frankly they were already a bit past it back then, weren't they?