I think I’m a sadist. Realizing this while buying a movie ticket to see a PG-13 RomCom is an uncomfortable. experience. Because, I KNEW this movie would be bad. Like…literally nothing thus far had pointed to this movie being decent. Aside from the people. (Anyone who knows me, knows I love me some Anna Kendrick – but even I have to be fair here.)
Which I suppose is the mystery behind the downfall of the Duplass Brothers’ and Jeff Blitz’s “Table 19.” I mean, the cast is an absolute killer group. But watching this, I don’t know why any of them were in this movie. Then again, I suppose if the Duplass Brothers asked me to do anything, I would. I won’t lie, mostly because I’m about to rip everything about this movie to shreds, there are some really sweet moments through the movie. The performances are of the caliber of what you’d expect from this cast, but even that couldn’t save this film.
Right off the bat, I’m going to get this out first because it has the least to do with the actual movie. The marketing for this movie was awful. Like, really. The worst. They had a Tinder campaign, but only really used Anna Kendrick’s character because she’s questionably the biggest name in the movie. They used that profile for everyone on Tinder, so if you’re looking for a dude on Tinder – heads up, you might get matched with Anna Kendrick. Close enough? (Kidding.)
Also their whole fake Tinder profile, in my mind, was done wrong. First of all, they didn’t eve put the release date on her photo. People are swiping on Tinder. Don’t make them open up the profile to find the release date. Second of all, they should have used her character’s name. Instead they used “Maid of Dishonor.” What they should have done is again, use her characters name and have a swipe of frosting over the top half of her face (cake is a big thing in the movie) and have “Maid of Dishonor” written within that. Also the Tinder campaign didn’t match their Instagram campaign. Which is another thing.
They created really awful Instagram profiles for each character. All of their usernames were basically descriptions of the way their characters are portrayed in the trailer. Which, in their favor, didn’t give away too much of the movie. But I think that might have been done to make the movie seem more interesting than it actually is. Because the movie really just….isn’t?
I mean, I can SEE how some scenes would read really earnest, touching, or funny on paper – but in execution it just didn’t work. The apex of the movie has Anna Kendrick’s character Eloise partake in a grand gesture. Watching it happen on screen, it wasn’t great. However, I thought to myself while watching the scene, “If I had read this on paper – I probably would have laughed.” The humor in this movie is also pretty lackluster. Although there was a group of teen girls in the back of my theater giggling way too hard throughout the entire movie. So….definitely stoned to hell and back.
The characters just also seemed a little out of place. Like, this is the most girly character I’ve seen Anna Kendrick play in a long, long time. Not that I want my characters to be monotonous, but Eloise just seemed like different people to me in almost every scene. The variety of the ragtag bunch of Table 19 was nice, I suppose. The only character I really liked was Stephen Merchant’s Walter. Also, yay for interracial couple representation! (Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson.) Although, there was one very Mean Girls-esque scene describing all the other tables at the wedding where they feature another interracial couple labeling the women as the “trophy wife.” It was a white man and an Asian woman, so that was kind of a yikes moment for me. Because on one hand, cool another Asian person in this movie. But then also….awwww man, it kind of felt like she was a pet? That might just be me, but it definitely gave me pause.
The cuts. My god, the cuts. There are SO MANY in this movie. Which yeah, showing coverage or whatever – fine, that’s fair. I just feel like it could have really benefitted from just sticking to the wide shot a little longer. I may or may not have gotten a little bit of a headache during Eloise’s first face-to-face encounter with her ex. It felt like they cut back and forth every other second, when I feel like the wider shots they had for that scene were fine.
Basically, just skip it. I mean, I’m not sure I’d even watch this movie if there was absolutely nothing else on Netflix once it’s out on digital. It wasn’t worth the box office price, and really isn’t memorable enough to justify the VOD rental cost once it’s out. Insert dad joke here about how you should RSVP “no” to this awful movie, because that’s such a clever way to end this post.