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Table 19 Movie Review

Table 19: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack cover art
Table 19 is now available on home video. Read our review of the Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo.

Table 19 (2017) movie poster Table 19

Theatrical Release: March 3, 2017 / Running Time: 87 Minutes / Rating: PG-13

Director: Jeffrey Blitz / Writers: Jeffrey Blitz (screenplay); Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass (story)

Cast: Anna Kendrick (Eloise McGarry), Craig Robinson (Jerry Kepp), June Squibb (Jo Flanagan), Lisa Kudrow (Bina Kepp), Stephen Merchant (Walter Thimble), Tony Revolori (Renzo Eckberg), Wyatt Russell (Teddy), Amanda Crew (Nikki)

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Table 19 credits its story to acclaimed indie filmmaking brothers Mark and Jay Duplass (Cyrus, Jeff, Who Lives at Home). It hails from prestige distributor Fox Searchlight Pictures. And it stars Anna Kendrick, who though well removed from her Oscar nomination for 2009's Up in the Air,
has mainly blazed a trail of respectability in a mix of indie and studio fare. All this signs point to Table 19 being better than it is.

This PG-13 comedy presents a stately wedding from the distant table where guests who should have known to check "decline with regret" on the invitation (but didn't) are seated. Our point of entry is Eloise McGarry (Kendrick), a young woman who helped plan the wedding, but has been ostracized after getting dumped by the bride's brother and groom's best man, Teddy (Wyatt Russell). Eloise wants to make sure she's over him, even though it's clear to us she isn't.

Her tablemates don't have as strong a connection to the couple being wed. They include Jo Flanagan (Nebraska's June Squibb), a sassy old lady who long ago was nanny to the bride and Teddy; the Kepps (Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson), a diner-owning Ohio couple for whom Love's flame has flickered out; a gangly Brit (Stephen Merchant) who is uncomfortably determined to hide the fact that he's an ex-con; and a teenager (Tony Revolori, The Grand Budapest Hotel's Lobby Boy) who's just plain uncomfortable in all social situations.

Social pariahs (Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Stephen Merchant, Anna Kendrick, and Tony Revolori) share Table 19 in the wedding comedy "Table 19."

What kind of wacky situations do the Duplasses conceive for these strangers bound together only by a seating chart? There's a destroyed wedding cake. Eloise shares a dance and kiss with a mysterious and handsome Brit (Thomas Cocquerel).
They change out of their cake-soiled clothes, get high, and bond a little in one of their hotel rooms. And they come to know why Eloise and Teddy broke up.

Table 19 is never as smart and funny as the Duplass' previous work. It relies heavily on pratfalls and physical comedy, earning only the occasional light chuckle from either. Characters are given arcs and depth, but it's all forced and contrived, a stark contrast from the natural and earnest awkwardness encountered in past Duplass films. Kendrick is basically a small step away from playing a late-Noughties Kate Hudson, Katherine Heigl, or Anne Hathaway wedding comedy character. And the movie isn't much better than such low bar-setting farces.

As a sorta indie with the least desirable qualities of studio comedies, Table 19 is bound to disappoint both cineastes and those who are fine with getting 90 minutes of breezy, mildly diverting comedy. Its mid-range theater count reflects that uncomfortable in-between nature. The sure to be modest attendance levels will reflect the failure to interest either demographic.

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Related Reviews:
Table 19 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)
Now in Theaters: Get Out Fist Fight Before I Fall Logan Land of Mine The Lego Batman Movie
Anna Kendrick: The Hollars The Last Five Years Happy Christmas Into the Woods
Wyatt Russell: Everybody Wants Some!! | Craig Robinson: This Is the End Hot Tub Time Machine | Tony Revolori: The Grand Budapest Hotel
June Squibb: Nebraska Love the Coopers | Lisa Kudrow: Romy and Michele's High School Reunion The Girl on the Train
Written by the Duplass Brothers: Jeff, Who Lives at Home Cyrus

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Reviewed March 3, 2017.



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