Table 19 boasts the right premise and a top-shelf cast: Anna Kendrick, Stephen Merchant, June Squibb, Craig Robinson and the great Lisa Kudrow as the randos consigned to a wedding receptions least choice table, the one way in the back by the bathrooms. Mostly strangers to each other, the outcasts become a sort of grown-up Breakfast Club, wreaking havoc, learning some lessons, saving the day. Robinson and Kudrow play a bickering married couple, which was all the reason I needed to give this a shot; that inveterate scene-thief Merchant goes full neer-do-well as a white-collar convict on leave and lying at every moment that hes a normal person and a successful businessman. You could guess without seeing a trailer that Squibbs beatific nanny has pot stashed in her purse, or that Kendricks character should be in the bridal party but has been demoted after being jilted by the best man. What do you want to bet shell find love by the time the80s cover band starts packing up? Everything you would expect happens, but little of it is funny or affecting. Instead of letting us watch these nimble comic performers egg each other on around that benighted table, Table 19 dashes us away from the wedding so that this crew can mope stoned in the woods, the movie growing as aimless as their baked thoughts. The filmmakers director Jeffrey Blitz co-wrote the script with Mark and Jay Duplass never commit to a tone, opening with pratfalls and fizzy romantic comedy before striving for Little Miss Sunshinestyle life-and-death dysfunction drama. The lessons, like the jokes, are as warmed-over as reception catering: Dopes Tony Revolori plays an awkward teen virgin on a mission to get laid, and, acting on vague tell-girls-whats-good-about-you sitcom-style advice from Robinsons character, approaches a young woman and declares that hes packing an enormous penis. Its not funny from a president-to-be in a debate, and its not funny here. Robinson and Kudrow get the worst of the material, as their comic bickering soon proves not comic at all. Rather than spark against each other, this couple grinds, crabbing and frumping until just before the end, when movie magic demands they both realize that being married means being present.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.dallasobserver.com/content/printView/9220670