Table 19 Review
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
I had no idea about this movie, not seen any trailers or promotional gear for it what so ever. So when checking the showing times of my regular cinemas this popped up, as first thinking it was possibly some special presentation the cinema was hosting. But no, and on further investigation it was a wedding dramedy. Not a rom/com. A dramedy that focuses on the wedding guests seated at table 19, the supposedly rejects table.
Being a frequent instagrammer myself, I was instantly impressed with the clever poster. Being pretty much a brilliant mock-up of an Instagram screenshot. In fact, looking at Table 19's IG account, it's a real shame the promo team didn't get the exposure as there's some of the best marketing I've seen recently. Be sure to check out each characters IG account for more funnies.
I love a good wedding, who doesn't? Myself being always the Best Man and never the Groom (do I hear an "aww"?) I think I have a good insight on what happens behind the scenes, the drama that comes with organising the big day and the downside to what is potentially meant to be one do the best days of the year and hopefully someone's life, and I think this film really captures the idea that not everyone at the reception is going to enjoy themselves, and most likely has probable cause.
Kendrick plays Eloise, ex-maid-of-honour who gets regulated to table 19 with the rest of the guests who received an invitation out of civility and choose to attend instead of a hopeful RSVP'ing "No". She was dating the Best Man, who is also the Bride's brother, who dumped Eloise not long before the wedding day putting her in an awkward situation of "should I, shouldn't l?" Knowing that the day isn't about her, but is going to be torturous none the less.
It actually sets a great and entertaining premise, especially meeting the other guests of the table, the nanny, the colleagues, the weird, socially awkward cousin and... a bell boy from The Grand Hotel Budapest who's just wanting to lose his virginity. Revolori hasn't seemed to have aged one little bit since his part as the young bell boy and really looking forward to seeing him as Flash Thompson in the new Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Kendrick is superb, emotionally unbalanced, viciously sarcastic and just typically stunning. Eloise is pretty much my ideal date, actually strong where she might think she's weak, outspoken, yet hurting under the brave face of hers. The supporting cast are brilliant also, never too much of one and just about right of each misfit. It really is The Breakfast Club at a wedding reception. I would love to see the blooper reel to this.
I love the fact the film is totally about table 19 and little, if any attention is paid to the bridal party. I can't actually remember seeing the groom! It's surprisingly touching, warm and superbly balanced with some really great scenes. It's unpredictable, not overly hilarious and it's fair to say it's more drama than comedy, but it is humorous with its witty scripting. There is a point to all this. None of us are perfect, and it's those imperfections that make us who we are. Clichéd right? I know, but the film gets that across really well without it being so cheesy like my line back there.
There's a superb soundtrack in a form of a wedding mixtape of 80's classics covered and performed by the actual wedding singers, the surf pop revival band, Oberhofer. There's a dreamy atmosphere with their covers of Cyndi Lauper's "All Through The Night", Thompson Twins' "Hold Me Now" and Wang Chung's "Dance Hall Days". It's brilliant, becoming one of my favourite soundtrack albums of the year, right next to La La Land. Again, the marketing team work wonders with the album cover, mimicking Guardians of the Galaxy.
Without reading into too much detail, I've noticed quite a lot of negativity around this movie, yet I can't warrant how people are slating it. It's actually well put together, believable and captivating. I wouldn't go in expecting too much, and it's great for what it is. Give it a chance and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Running Time: 8
The Cast: 8
Job Description: 8
The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for Oberhofer's epic mixtape, the overall marketing and Stephen Merchant as the odd but strangely heroic cousin.
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Yes.