Thursday, March 9, 2017
Table 19 (2017)
IMDb plot summary: Ex-maid of honor Eloise, having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to attend the wedding anyway only to find herself seated with 5 "random" guests at the dreaded Table 19.
Directed by Jeffrey Blitz. Starring Anna Kendrick, June Squibb, Craig Robinson, and Lisa Kudrow.
The more poorly-scripted movies like this I see, the more I'm impressed by movies like The Breakfast Club that do this kind of thing well. In the first five minutes, you can see exactly the kind of film this is trying to be -- a group of outcasts come together, learn about themselves, learn about each other, and end up better people. The problem is that this is poorly written. A good drama like this will have dialogue and performances so perfect that each turns feels like a completely natural progression. In contrast, each turn here feels off and unlikely and uncomfortable. Characters are awkward and stiff with no reason to be, or they suddenly befriend someone next to them with no justification, or they reveal something about themselves when there's zero indication that makes sense for who they are as a character. In the film's second half it seems at least a tad more realistic when half of the characters are a little stoned, but overall it's a disappointingly written little piece. It was probably never going to be great, but it definitely didn't accomplish what it set out to do.
Edit: OK, I just found out this was written by the Duplasses. WHAT. They are usually significantly better than this, right? I remember liking Jeff Who Lives at Home. What happened here?
How it entered my Flickchart:
Table 19 < Silent Hill
Table 19 > Top Gun
Table 19 < Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging
Table 19 < Spider-Man 3
Table 19 > Blow
Table 19 < The Three Faces of Eve
Table 19 < Mud
Table 19 > A Scanner Darkly
Table 19 > Doc Hollywood
Table 19 < The Ladykillers (1955)
Final spot: #1846 out of 2590.