‘Table 19,’ directed by Jeffrey Blitz, is a tolerable enough movie that just skates by on the sheer likability of its cast.
The film stars Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Stephen Merchant, and Tony Revolori as that one table of misfits invited to the wedding out of courtesy. While Kendrick plays the undisputed lead, you almost forget it at times, as the talented supporting cast is given necessary screen time and attention. But while ‘Table 19’ has its moments, it is not quite as funny as I wanted it to be. What I got instead was a far more emotionally complex movie than I had anticipated, and I’m still trying to decide whether or not that’s a good thing.
Kudrow and Robinson, who play a married couple at a neglectful low in their relationship, were perhaps the highlight of the film. Their strange pairing carried with it a natural charisma—it is everything you wanted your ‘Friends’ meets ‘The Office’ fanfiction crossover to be. I could not help but wish, however, that these two stellar comedians had a little more to do than be bitter and resentful towards each other. Perhaps if they had more fun, so would the audience.
The relationship between Kudrow and Robinson also, it seems, highlights a major flaw in ‘Table 19.’ The film straddles the line between drama and comedy, and in doing so falls short of achieving either one successfully. Despite what you would believe from the trailer, director, and cast, if you walk into this movie expecting to laugh your way home from the theater you’re going to be disappointed; ‘Table 19’ is considerably heavier than that—or at least it tries to be.
While the film balances the rest of the characters well—Kendrick’s insecure klutz, Squibb’s grandmotherly stoner, Merchant’s lanky weirdo, and Revolori’s unsettlingly horny high schooler—it can’t seem to find the proper tone. While I should be pleased that ‘Table 19’ is less by the numbers than it would appear, containing twists and reversals that I didn’t think the film capable of, I couldn’t help but wish the cast was used to its full comedic potential.
Like the characters in the film, you should probably RSVP no.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.
‘Table 19’ comes out March 3rd.