REVIEW: Table 19

Fox Searchlight

Table 19 tricked me into going to see a romantic comedy of sorts. Usually not one of my favorite genres, I found myself laughing out loud most of the time. These days I can’t get enough of the Duplass brothers and when I found out that the creative duo co-wrote the film I had to go see it. The casting was an interesting choice. At the beginning I wasn’t sure they would all work together. But they pulled it off as an assemble, and individually they all had some really hilarious moments. Table 19 started out as a funny comedy that quickly turned into some pretty serious moments. Tackling quite a few serious topics, from pregnancy, cancer and marital affairs. If I wasn’t used to the Duplass brothers I might have found this really strange, but with that being said I am still not sure how much I liked it for this film.
Table 19 is about that one outcast table at a wedding reception full of the guests that Eloise played by Anna Kendrick put it as, “The table of people who should know to decline but not before sending a gift from the registry.” There is much to debate between table 19 on whether or not it’s a “good” table. They soon realize that maybe they should have declined to RSVP. Eloise is the ex girlfriend for the best man who just happen’s to be the bride’s brother and she dropped out as maid of honor. After half burning her RSVP card she decides to go. Now sitting at Table 19 she is forced to get to know the other strangers at the table. They nail the awkwardness of having to go to a wedding and sit at a table full of strangers. It’s hilarious and uncomfortable at times. The cast is so different form one another that it works perfectly to portray this always socially awkward time.
Like it was mentioned before, this was such a strange cast to have all together in one movie. The lovable Anna Kendrick, the hilarious Stephen Merchant and Craig Robison. The always amazing Lisa Kudrow and June Squibb and innocent Tony Revolori. Separately, all amazing. At first I wasn’t sure if it would work. But it was perfect for what this movie was all about. Six complete strangers trying to have a good time and feel included while dealing with personal turmoil. Teddy, played by Wyatt Russell who was Eloise’s ex boyfriend was a little unbelievable in a more serious roll. He could have been more funny but it just never really happened. For me, Stephen Merchant stole the show. I have been a long time fan of his and he didn’t disappoint. He plays the gawky, socially awkward type so well. I also never thought I would see a shower scene with Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson, but get ready folks because it happens. I was grateful that Craig Robinson did not break out into song in this film. Although his songs are funny and he has a voice of an angel,I was glad that he was in a film that didn’t require him to be behind a keyboard.
One of the strange things that this film does is quickly go from funny to actually quite serious. I would be lying if I didn’t say it didn’t throw me a couple of times. As a viewer it hits you in kind of an uncomfortable way. A couple of times I felt bad for laughing. At times I almost wished it didn’t get so serious because the film is really funny and a good time if you can stay in the moment. The seriousness takes you out of it quite a few times. The Duplass brothers did a good job of really portraying the ridiculous things that happen at weddings. Awkward speeches, drunk mother of the bride and a room full of people that barely know each other all trying to make small talk.

Table 19 is a well done, low budget film with a great cast. I walked out feeling satisfied and still laughing thinking about Stephen Merchant. For all of it’s seriousness, it has a lot of comedic relief and packs a lot of fun. After seeing it, it will be hard not to wonder about the seating arrangements at the next wedding you go to and where you stand on the couple’s social hierarchy.

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