“The table that should have known to send regrets, but not before sending something nice off the registry.” That’s table 19.
No longer the maid of honor at her oldest friend’s wedding after being dumped by the bride’s brother (and best man), Eloise (Anna Kendrick) decides to attend anyway. Gone is her place at one of the good tables though – she’s stuck way back at table 19 with the “randoms.” Maybe this is just the perspective she needs though.
Table 19 stars the comedic efforts of Kendrick, Lisa Kudro, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Stephen Merchant, Tony Revolori as the six unlikely table companions, all who may have their lives go in a different direction because of this wedding.
With a cast like this, you’d expect the laughs to be a mile a minute, no? Well, the laughs are there, for sure, but this is also perhaps the most depressing and melancholic comedy I’ve ever seen. Even as a slapstick gag or clever moment inspires laughter, something else happens just as quickly to make you realize how pathetic all of these people are, or at least feel like they are. It’s little wonder this one has been in development so long (2009) – Fox probably didn’t know what to do with it or who to market it to.
Far more serious, and far less predictable than you probably expect – but not as fresh as it thinks it is Table 19 is nowhere near as enjoyable as it should be. Things do (slight spoiler) more or less work themselves out in the end for everyone, but it’s not enough to remove the somber tone that this comedy is bathed in. It’s like the whole movie is one of those “when ___ got too real,” memes. And it kind of works, and it’s kind of sweet, and it’s kind of provocative, and it’s kind of good. It’s not that memorable though and leaves a funny taste in your mouth that doesn’t seem to fit. There are some stand out moments – mostly involving Stephen Merchant, Lisa Kudrow, and a particular outfit – but the rest of it sort of blurs into a bittersweet story that isn’t funny enough to be a real comedy and not serious enough to be a real drama. It’s a peculiar little indie flick with a great cast, and it will probably hit just the right spot for some people, but not most.
You probably won’t regret watching it if you don’t mind feeling a little icky afterwards, but let’s be honest, there are better things out there.
Mrs. Hamster did not screen this film
Brother Hamster did not screen this film
My rating: Three out of five hats
Table 19 is invited to 868 theaters March 3