This had a great cast but this romantic comedy was ultimately sunk by a mediocre script, extremely convoluted story, and several tone shifts within a sub 90 minute running time. (original review)
Synopsis: Ex-maid of honor Eloise, 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. 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. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson, and June Squibb
Writer: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
Rating: 14A (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)
Running Time: 87mins
The film does boast an impressive cast, compromising the members of table 19, a table of misfit wedding guests. There was a married couple with problems who also owned a diner named Jerry (Robinson) and Bina Kepp (Lisa Kudrow). There was an unlucky young man looking for a girlfriend named Rezno (Tony Revelori). There was the creepy nephew of the father of the bride named Walter (Stephen Merchant). Finally, there was the bride’s first nanny named Jo (Squibb). Each had their own subplots but they ultimately didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. The film spent barely enough time with these subplots that it was difficult to care about any of these characters.
The film was really about a woman named Eloise (Kendrick) who was dumped by the bride’s brother, Teddy (Wyatt Russell). They had a past history that the film mostly glossed over. The main problem with the film was that everything was all over the place. It would jump from character subplot to character subplot so each kept losing momentum. As well as jumping from character to character, it would do the same with the tone, going from comedy to drama. Both the comedy and the drama never seemed to fit together where the film was often not funny and the sudden dramatic moments felt off.
The film tried to do way too much and because of the very short running time, clocking in at under 90 minutes, it failed at just about everything. The fact that the characters were underdeveloped and the story jumped around so much, it became a chore to watch. The story itself and each of the subplots weren’t exactly the most original which made it all very predictable at times. The dialogue wasn’t the most inspiring either.
The acting was okay but you couldn’t help but to get the impression that they could have all done much better. While the story may have been lacking, the main cast still managed to elevate it because of their likability and chemistry. Kendrick played the exact same character she’s played countless times in other films. She wasn’t necessarily better or worse. Revelori had some good moments and Merchant was the opposite. His character’s creepiness was off-putting and his lines were not funny. The Robinson and Kudrow pairing was weird (not for the obvious reasons) since their relationship wasn’t the most believable.
Overall, this was a mediocre film that tried to do way too much which ended up hurting it as a whole. The tone was all over the place, making it hard to follow. It’s sad because there were so many talented people here but they could have done so much better.
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