Starring: Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Stephen Merchant, Tony Revolori, Wyatt Russell, Amanda Crew
Directed By: Jeffrey Blitz
Plot: Table 19, or how it’s put in the film, the table of people who should have known not to RSVP. These six strangers all believe they are important to the bride or groom, or their families, but they’re the furthest table from everything, and basically a hodgepodge of characters. Our lead is Eloise (Kendrick), who despite being the bride’s oldest friend, was also just recently dumped by her brother, and now finds herself at Table 19, despite having once been the maid of honor and knowing what Table 19 means.
What Works: This is one of those films that I really want to have more thoughts on. Overall, I thought it was OK. The cast did a good job, with each person kind of having their “stand out” moment. It’s not really a comedy, but rather a drama with comedic elements. That’s probably why it bombed in theatres, because it was poorly marketed. This film starts out innocently enough, only to start diving into some deep shit as the film continues to progress. I suppose of the cast, I was most glad to see June Squibb, because she does a lot with her role, and offers a lot to the film. Table 19 is charming at times, funny in others, and features a few solid dramatic moments and some pretty good performances from its lead sextet.
What Doesn’t Work: The idea of revelation after revelation was a bit much for me. I thought the first revelation, for Kendrick’s character, was brilliant. Then there were more revelations about the other characters, and I felt like the film just kept hitting tht “Oh SHIT!” button over and over. Then, after basically every character got their OH SHIT moment, I noticed that Revolori really didn’t. Then I was even MORE disappointed, because I felt like the other five characters had all shifted their perspectives completely, but Revolori was stagnant. There are missed opportunities too. His mother mentions earlier that her son should consider someone a bit older for his first time, because they’re more experienced. Then we are introduced to the Bride’s mother, clearly a cougar, who drinks way too much. The film instead goes nowhere with that, instead leaving Revolori where he began. Still horny. I also didn’t really enjoy the epilogue. There’s a scene where something is forgotten inside an apartment, and the way that reveal is done is so shitty. Like, where was it? On a table next to the door? Like that? Really? I don’t want to spoil anything, but when you get to that moment, you’ll definitely laugh. It’s so poorly shot.
Final Word: I get why there isn’t a lot of love for this film, but for me, the actors saved it. I loved the six main actors, and they all did their best to make me feel something for their characters. It’s a frustrating film at times, but if you’re a fan of any of these actors, I’d still say this film is worth a rent. If not, it’s also a film that’s totally forgettable anyway. I’d give this a very small, childlike thumbs up.
Final Grade: C+