This weekend across America, Paula Patton shined as the modern princess in director David E. Talbert’s star studded cast of Baggage Claim and made a splash with movie goers. Filled with quick wit, romantic tension and heartfelt moments, Baggage Claim has shaped up to be the perfect welcome to the fall season. Talbert said he envisioned Baggage Claim as a great follow up to his last cinematic big picture, First Sunday in 2008.
Growing a strong fan base from his earlier career as a playwright, Talbert has made the leap with another incredible cast. Paula Patton, Taye Diggs, Jill Scott and a slew of other notable mentions lay out a fairly light plot of an aging flight attendant who feels the pressure from her family to wed. With only 30 days until she attends the wedding of her younger sister, Montana Moore deploys the help of a squad of friends who are committed to getting her hitched.
Paula Patton does a solid job as main character Montana Moore, the love deprived heroine. In a fit of desperation, Montana goes through her phone and identifies several ex boyfriends. Then, with the help of other airport employees, she stalks, or shall we say tracks each one down to evaluate their “mate-ability.” Not to give the whole movie away, but let’s say she goes through a circus load of antics with these guys, only to find out none of them really are what she is looking for in a life partner.
What is finally revealed by Montana is “fairy tales are just not real life.” With that statement, I want to share some very interesting similarities with Talbert’s Baggage Claim and a book by life coach Early Jackson called The Modern Princess.
Early Jackson has been in the speaking business for nearly 20 years and has traveled empowering individuals and businesses across the country. Later this month, he is launching his third book project, and his first on the subject of relationships. Stemming from a brief conversation with his teenage daughter about the Disney classic Beauty and The Beast, Jackson realized that his daughter recognized that there were some serious issues with the way the beast treated his love interest, Belle.
Determined to make dating a safe place for his daughter, Jackson began writing a manifesto of dating observations, failures and downright honesty geared to empowering women of all ages on how to date smarter. Much different than many other relationship books, The Modern Princess; a 21st Century Guide to Fairy Tale Relationships is packed with three sections along with detailed study questions to challenge the women reading it. Here is a breakdown of sections that make this so unique:
- Belle, the woman addicted to the bad boys: In this section, Jackson covers the issues that he’s seen occur when a woman chases and gets tangled with the “bad boy.” These types of women, Jackson says, are always in a cycle of frustration because they keep choosing the same type of guy with issues that cause him to mistreat her.
- Dorothy is the woman who always has a man under construction: Here, Jackson puts a fresh take on the classic tale of the orphan from Kansas. Dorothy goes through a storm and ends up having to lead a gang of men with potential, but something missing. He either doesn’t have a brain, a heart or courage. She does this while hoping this great guy, the Wizard, will be able to solve all her problems; only to be disappointed again, because even he is a phony. It’s not until Dorothy realizes she’s always had the power to fix her life does things change.
- Snow White is the woman that smothers like a mother: What girl hasn’t grown up fantasizing about being Snow White? She is the ultimate princess. But Jackson shares that women who share Snow White’s characteristic also have a deep problem with meeting a guy and instantly becoming a mother to him. We have all seen this in action. They meet on Monday, by Thursday she’s ready to move in, take care of the bills and play house. Jackson contends that women like this rarely ever see the fruit of commitment from their efforts. They’re just led astray once again.
The book has some interesting views on relationships. Much like Talbert’s romantic comedy, Montana entered a whirlwind of emotions with way too much personal baggage. As she checked man after man off her list, she slowly looked within and started asking different questions. In fact, she adapted a mantra in the movie of “Same old action equals the same old result.” And isn’t that a powerful place to come to? When you understand that your life, family and relationships are not at the whim of another, but closely in your grasp. Both Jackson’s relationship book and Talbert’s movie share a common thread; relationships are not as much about finding a perfect mate as it is about becoming a better mate yourself.
The box office will tell if the world agrees that Baggage Claim is a hit or not. And in a few weeks, we will have the opportunity to go through Jackson’s book and see if we fit the mold of a Modern Princess. But the important thing to remember is change will never happen for us until we are ready to do things differently. Relationships will never be a neatly planned script like that in the movies. Maybe we can at least take a page from Montana Moore’s page and realize we don’t need anyone to save us from single-hood, instead we can embrace a mate that complements our individuality.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)