5 items from 2017
In Adam Sandler’s 1998 comedy The Wedding Singer, the actor’s emotionally distraught Robbie Hart discovers a selection of mismatched outsiders he deems “the mutants over at table 9.” Imagine an entire film centering on the wedding attendees that have all been relegated to just such a position at a wedding reception, and you have a solid idea of what Table 19 at first appears to be shooting for. Yet, while the film clearly purports itself to be an alternative take on the concept of a wedding comedy, it cannot resist the temptation to embrace cliché before the credits roll.
Written and directed by Jeffrey Blitz of the Comedy Central series Review, the film follows post-breakup Eloise (Anna Kendrick) as she and a group of strangers wind up sharing seats at the titular table. Before long, the awkward chitchat kicks in, and the gang — including a struggling married couple (Craig Robinson »
- Robert Yaniz Jr.
Eloise (Anna Kendrick) is in a bit of a pickle. She's been invited to a wedding, see. Specifically, her best friend's nuptials – the one she helped plan for months, and was supposed to be the maid of honor at, until she recused herself when her ex-boyfriend (Wyatt Russell), a.k.a. the bride's brother, dumped her. Still, she's replying in the affirmative. But our unlucky heroine knows she'll be subjected to that attacked-by-wolves feeling you get when you watch your former beau, the one she's still head over stilettos for, »
(From L-r): Lisa Kudrow as “Bina,” Craig Robinson as “Jerry,” June Squibb as “Jo,” Stephen Merchant as “Walter,” Anna Kendrick as “Eloise,” and Tony Revolori as “Renzo” in Table 19. Photo by Jace Downs. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
At the beginning of Table 19, we see Anna Kendrick struggling to decide whether to RSVP yes or no to a wedding invitation. She should have said no, and that might be the best advice for audiences thinking about seeing this film.
Kendrick plays Eloise, the ex-maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding, dropped after the best man, also the bride’s brother, suddenly broken up with her by text. The invitation is to the wedding, and she torn between going to her best friend’s wedding or avoiding the heartbreak of seeing her ex with his new girlfriend.
Table 19 might sound like it would be a »
- Cate Marquis
“Table 19” arranges a bountiful display of talent. Writer/director Jeffrey Blitz — the indie filmmaker behind the richly inspired “Rocket Science,” the heartfelt and touching National Spelling Bee documentary “Spellbound,” and Comedy Central’s bleakly hilarious, criminally underseen mockumentary “Review” — reunites with Anna Kendrick, the standout starlet from his first narrative feature, works from a story written by Mark and Jay Duplass, and rounds out his ensemble with friendly favorites, including Craig Robinson, Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant, Wyatt Russell, Tony Revolori, June Squibb, Amanda Crew, Andy Daly, and the voice of Margo Martindale.
- Kevin Jagernauth
“Table 19” is an under-imagined, overly-pleased-with-itself comedy about half a dozen “colorful characters” who meet while sharing a table at a wedding reception. The premise sounds like it has possibilities (Robert Altman, of course, set an entire movie at a wedding), but the strangers-at-a-table concept turns out to be a thin excuse to cobble together what might have been the pilot episode for a glibly forgettable TV series. This is the sort of movie in which the characters start off telling fibs and tossing off rim-shot jibes, but within 45 minutes they’ve become a makeshift “family” of eccentrics who’ve got each other’s backs. Almost everything that happens in “Table 19” rings cloyingly false. The movie wants to make you laugh and cry, but you may be too busy cringing.
In theory, it should be a redeeming feature that the movie stars Anna Kendrick, whose presence will certainly lend »
- Owen Gleiberman
5 items from 2017
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