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Paula Patton and her ‘Baggage Claim’ co-stars, Boris Kodjoe and Derek Luke

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Story by Yvette Caslin

Photography by DeWayne Rogers

In an extreme case of sibling rivalry, flight attendant Montana Moore is determined to find Mr. Right in 30 days. She must. It’s the only chance she has of preserving her image and getting engaged before her youngest sister’s wedding. Besides, she can’t just be any ole guy’s arm candy on her sister’s big day.

There’s no time for pridefulness here. Montana and her friends devise a plan that on the surface appears serendipitous, but in reality is a comedic escapade around the world chasing ex-boyfriends — all offering a certain level of passion and adventure.

Starring in David E. Talbert’s latest silver screen installment, Baggage Claim, actress Paula Patton plays the love-obsessed Moore. It’s a film that the writer-director says, “is a journey of a flight attendant along with her two best friends who concoct a scheme. Paula Patton is a beautiful woman, so I wanted to use a cross section of men from Taye Diggs to Djimon Hounsou … to a young urbanite Trey Songz. I used slices of my own life to create this story.”

Patton, who has always been fascinated by films, grew up across the street from 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles. It’s the same city where she met her high school sweetheart and now husband, singer Robin Thicke. She clearly knows a thing or two about love, because she rose above the Miley Cyrus 2013 MTV VMAs twerking escapade with grace.

Married now for nearly a decade, Patton delves into the subject of love and the secret to a lasting relationship.

Your character, Montana Moore, is determined to find her soul mate and it’s a dilemma many women face when they reach a certain age. Why do you think this is the case? Is it because of family members?
The modern woman, today, is stuck between an archaic attitude and the new attitude where you can create your own destiny. It’s unfortunate when aunts and grandparents [question her single status] the woman can be as successful as she wants to be, but it’s never enough. If she’s not married and doesn’t have a baby, she’s not [considered] successful. It makes it so hard on women when it’s not the case. We wanted to accomplish two things with this movie, the happy ending where a woman discovers and loves herself just the way she is and [doesn’t] care about what others think. Then, there’s the other happy ending.

Is it better for a woman to wait for Mr. Right?
That’s where we need to go as women is to find some comfort in that. The moment we stop looking and caring, they all come flocking when you’re not looking.

Why is it important to be open and prepared to receive Mr. Right?
I am so glad that I am in a relationship or I would be messed up. Only people who love you can tell you “you know it’s annoying when you do this” and “you need to stop saying this when you are out in public.” It helps you grow as a human being. Hopefully, you enter the relationship open and ready to learn and this person who tells you there are some flaws you need to work on, you should listen. That’s what I love about my relationship and it has made be a better human being.

Does love complete a person?
People think finding love is going to complete them. It’s much more important that you are already complete when you enter that bond. That can make the search for love so hard when you’re thinking that’s the thing that will make me important or special.
You have to be a full human, love yourself and the partner is there to be the dessert. You have to be the meal.

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