On paper, Table 19 looks like a sure bet for an hour and a half of harmless mischief and silly shenanigans. A group of strangers find themselves at the same wedding reception and must make the best of their night despite being made to sit at the “losers table”. What’s not to like, right? In reality, this unimaginatively lame and thoroughly amateurish production brings absolutely nothing new, or even old to the romantic comedy genre, and winds up looking cheap, messy and almost instantly forgettable.

At the last minute Eloise (Anna Kendrick) decides to attend the wedding of her oldest friend who also happens to be the sister of Teddy (Wyatt Russell), the man who broke up with her two months earlier. Things get complicated when she finds herself sat at the worst table in the room alongside a group of unwanted guests who should have known better not to accept the polite invite. Amongst this merry band of losers, are faux-pas prone teenager Rezno (Tony Revolori), harmless simpleton Walter (Stephen Merchant), pot-smoking Nanny Jo (June Squibb) and bickering middle aged couple Bina (Lisa Kudrow) and Jerry (Craig Robinson). The group must band together and help each other get through a difficult evening which soon descends into chaos after a big secret is let out of the bag.

Table 19Directed by Jeffrey Blitz (Spellbound, The Office), and with a pedigree like that of the Duplass brothers behind the screenplay, the film had the potential of offering so much more than it eventually came up with. Famed amongst other things for their brilliant HBO series Togetherness, the writers have been hailed as two of the most brilliant comic talents working in Hollywood right now. Which begs the question, how did this mess of a film ever get made and why wasn’t it nipped in the bud at the draft stage? Not only does Table 19 completely lack the ability to make anyone laugh, it also fails at the first hurdle by having one of the most mind-numbingly boring story-lines ever crafted.

Kendrick, who could usually be relied upon to bring life into pretty much anything she stars in, is sadly let down by a script which is neither one thing or the other. In the absence of laugh-out-loud moments, the writers resort to cheap slapstick humour with characters falling off chairs and tripping over wedding cakes. With some serious pace issues, and risibly misjudged comic timing, Table 19 aims to be the Wedding Singer, but instead ends up with as a hybrid of a film. Not quite stylish indie, and not quite Apatow-esque gross out rom-com. In the end, Table 19 might rely on the impressive talents of its cast to get people through the door, but very few will be leaving satisfied. A brilliantly eclectic cast, let down by a poorly thought out screenplay.

Table 19 is released on April 7th.

 

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Table 19
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Linda Marric is a senior film critic and the newly appointed Reviews Editor for HeyUGuys. She has written extensively about film and TV over the last decade. After graduating with a degree in Film Studies from King's College London, she has worked in post-production on a number of film projects and other film related roles. She has a huge passion for intelligent Scifi movies and is never put off by the prospect of a romantic comedy. Favourite movie: Brazil.