Ex-maid of honor Eloise (Anna Kendrick) – having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text – decides to hold her head up high and attend her oldest friend’s wedding anyway. She finds herself seated at the ‘random’ table in the back of the ballroom with a disparate group of strangers, most of whom should have known to just send regrets (but not before sending something nice off the registry). As everyone’s secrets are revealed, Eloise learns a thing or two from the denizens of Table 19. Friendships – and even a little romance – can happen under the most unlikely circumstances.
What We Thought:
A romantic comedy coming out after Valentine’s Day with no marketing push whatsoever usually is a bad sign. Odds are the studio doesn’t expect much from it especially if they aren’t even showing trailers on TV. All that being said, you’d probably expect Table 19 to not be very good. And honestly? Yeah it’s not great, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t laugh at it more than Fist Fight and other recent comedies.
Is it groundbreaking work? Nope, not in the slightest. You know exactly what’s going to happen at the end, but I don’t care. Anna Kendrick is adorable, funny and easy to watch. Craig Robinson is always funny. Stephen Merchant too. And that’s what they let their actors do, be funny.
Kendrick is allowed to be cute, quirky, adorable and get laughs. After being dumped over text, she loses her Maid of Honor status and is thrown on to the table of people you have to invite and hoped didn’t show up. She’s trying to get over her ex who just happens to be the best man at the wedding.
The film revolves around Kendrick trying not to stare and make a fool of herself at the wedding, but they add in just enough side stories/characters to balance it all out. You have the couple who are invited because they are business associates. You have the former nanny (the always awesome June Squibb). You have a nephew who was in prison for stealing money, but was able to make the wedding. And you have a younger boy who is someone’s kid and his mom made him go to try to meet a girl. There’s just enough about them to make you care and it also works well around Kendrick’s dilemma about being there.
Stephen Merchant’s character steals the film. He tells everyone he’s a successful businessman which gets him caught in lies a few times. Lisa Kudrow’s character is mistaken as a waitress because of her outfit and Merchant eventually wears it even though it’s way too small for him. He’s easily the funniest part of the film.
Even though I overall enjoyed the film, it does have its issues. Wyatt Russell’s hair makes for some awful editing choices. There are scenes where his hair changes from cut to cut. It’s tucked behind his ear, then it’s in his face, then pulled back. Total mess. Like I said before the film is also super predictable. You know every character will have their happy ending. I’m kind of curious to know if there’s a different ending out there and the studio forced a happy ending on the filmmaker.
If you don’t expect too much from Table 19 you might be pleasantly surprised. It’s nothing original or groundbreaking, but I did genuinely laugh out loud at parts especially Merchant. If you like Kendrick, give it a try.
Cast & Crew:
- Anna Kendrick
- Wyatt Russell
- June Squibb
- Lisa Kudrow
- Craig Robinson