Having been relieved of her maid-of-honor duties once she is dumped by the bride’s brother via text, Eloise decides to go to the wedding that she helped plan, only to be seated with “the randoms” at the very back of the reception at Table 19.
Table 19 is a movie that everyone should go see; it has a bit of something for everyone. The best way to describe this film is that it’s a comedy with depth.
Written by Jay and Mark Duplass, Table 19 has moments of gut-busting laughter followed by tear-jerking introspection, but the brother-duo have always brought that type of writing to all their projects. The cast was why I wanted to see the film, but once the Duplass names came up on the screen I knew that this was going to be fun and enjoyable. Jay and Mark do humor that isn’t gross or shocking but genuine (and that does sound funny coming from the guy who played Pete on The League for 6 seasons).
Their projects always tackle love, romance and marriage from a slighted angle. Whether it’s Anna Kendrick’s ‘Eloise’ trying to get over her ex-boyfriend who also happens to be the Best Man/Brother of the Bride or the Kipp’s (played almost hauntingly by Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson), a married couple that got lost (metaphorically speaking) along the way and are trying to find their way back. Each character has a “hero’s journey” that they have to go through to find the end and each one has a beautiful, if not funny, ending.
The best part about this cast is that it’s not jut a “funny” cast, but one that can go from making you laugh to tugging at the heart strings, and do it all without you even realizing it. While everyone was fantastic, I have to give a small golf clap to June Squibb and Tony Revolori who give such awkward but spectacular performances. It’s refreshing to see Craig Robinson and Lisa Kudrow get more prominent roles. They are both hilarious actors that have so much more to bring to the table and they both run the emotional gamut in this film.
It goes without saying that Anna Kendrick is a great actress, but it’s nice to see her branch out of her comfort zone with this film and should show that she can do drama with the best of them. Rounding out “the randoms” at Table 19 is Stephen Merchant who just does awkward with the best of them. He can make you chuckle with his gangly, pale British persona alone, but it’s his delivery that brings the funny.
Watching these characters through the lens of director Jeffrey Blitz is a treat. He has a wonderful eye that doesn’t waste a scene or a setting. He brings you in close for the intimate moments so you feel like you are right there with the characters. Having a director like Blitz, who has directed shows that have both humor and heart like The Office and Parks and Recreation, really benefitted Table 19.
The ending won’t be spoiled here, but it’s an extremely satisfying one that will make you want to watch the film again and again.