Table 19: EW review
Slight even by the wafer-thin standards of the wedding rom-com genre, writer-director Jeffrey Blitz’s Table 19 offers a couple of mild chuckles, six actors who’ve all been far better elsewhere, and a mercifully brief running time. Anna Kendrick (and her dimples) stars as the plucky flibbertigibbet friend of the bride who was recently dumped by the best man (Wyatt Russell) and gets exiled to a table of tossed-together losers that includes Stephen Merchant, Craig Robinson, Lisa Kudrow, June Squibb, and Tony Revolori. They’re the cliché-festooned movie’s idea of an island of misfit toys.
Kendrick is an appealing actress, but her character here immediately sets off cloying whimsy alarm bells. She’s clumsy, insecure, and all-consumed by her ex—a bold feminist tract this is not. Meanwhile, the ace comedienne Lisa Kudrow is saddled with a bitter, neglected-wife subplot, Craig Robinson gets some good lines but is ill-suited as the clueless hubbie who can’t see his wife’s dissatisfaction, and Stephen Merchant draws the shortest straw as an awkward ex-con who embezzled money from the father of the bride. Grand Budapest Hotel’s Tony Revolori is downright creepy as a horny teen famished for some carnal experience and Nebraska’s June Squibb is the recipient of countless stale naughty-grannie clichés that haven’t been funny since Clara Peller starred in Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?” ads.
What we’re left with is a romantic comedy that’s neither cute nor funny. It just feels half-baked and phoned in. Even the cheesy wedding band’s playlist of ‘80s hits feels cribbed from The Wedding Singer. And when you’re taking inspiration from Adam Sandler, it’s time to take a cold, hard look in the mirror. Unless it’s a typo, it’s hard to believe that the usually-dependable Duplass brothers had a hand in producing this thing. Together this bag of assorted nuts bond while getting high, causing some harmless chaos at the reception, and learning a few life lessons before the bouquet is tossed. Honestly, you’re better off saying “I don’t.” C