By: Jessica Goddard
Table 19 is a charming movie that’s accessible, easy to follow and doesn’t ask much of its audience.
The premise is simple enough: Table #19 of the wedding floorplan is the table for all the misfits who were invited to the wedding as a polite gesture, but aren’t cherished enough by the bride and groom to be honoured with a more intimate view of the festivities. Predictably, the strangers – forced to sit together – are all, well, “characters”. Yes, these are quirky folks, but for the most part, they are also endearing, well-meaning, and intriguing.
The script (written by director Jeffrey Blitz) is fine, but the actors are what gives Table 19 its heart and allure. Anna Kendrick is likeable and relatable as always, and Lisa Kudrow’s timing and comedic intuition is brilliant (as we all already know). Blitz’s lacklustre writing, however, frequently suffers from a damaging insistence that it has to be “about something more”, leading to tonal issues along with confusion regarding what genre the movie thinks it’s living in. To be clear though, Table 19 offers some genuinely fun twists, and the movie can be surprisingly subversive and original when it wants to be.
Despite it being more emotionally demanding than you’re expecting from a movie that’s been marketed as light and friendly, Jeffrey Blitz’s entertaining ensemble comedy Table 19 keeps you guessing and laughing.
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Jessica Goddard: @TheJGod