Movie News & Reviews

Tepid ‘Table 19’ is disappointing

From left, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Stephen Merchant, Anna Kendrick and Tony Revolori star in “Table 19.”
From left, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Stephen Merchant, Anna Kendrick and Tony Revolori star in “Table 19.” Jace Downs

The wedding-themed romantic comedy “Table 19” is like that beautifully wrapped gift you’ve had your eye on since the reception. But then, when you open it, you realize it’s just a blender.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that — it’s the thought that counts, right? But you expected more.

“Table 19” comes in cool wrapping. It has a solid comedic cast, a director (Jeffrey Blitz) known for the acclaimed spelling-bee documentary “Spellbound,” and it’s written by Jay and Mark Duplass of “The Puffy Chair,” “Cyrus,” and “Jeff, Who Lives At Home” fame.

It’s never less than pleasant, but “Table 19” is disappointing and forgettable.

Anna Kendrick is Eloise, a maid of honor who has been stripped of her duties because she and the bride’s brother, Teddy (Wyatt Russell), have broken up. So, for the reception, she’s exiled to the dreaded “table 19,” where the bride has put the guests she didn’t really want to invite.

That’s where we meet married couple Bina and Jerry Kepp (Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson), former nanny Jo Flanagan (June Squibb), nervous and lonely teenager Rezno (Tony Revolori), and a gangly inmate out for the weekend, Walter (Stephen Merchant). Of course, they bond through their orphan status.

This situation could have been revelatory, but the humor is tepid, with one character even predictably toppling over the wedding cake. The few moments of genuine laughter are provided by Merchant, who steals the film with his deadpan style.

Much of the film’s focus is on whether Eloise and Teddy will get back together, and their situation is neither engaging nor funny. “Table 19” is better when it’s not going for laughs but for the bittersweet. Kudrow and Robinson are effective as a couple whose relationship is unraveling, and it’s good to see the talented Robinson expanding his acting range.

Still, it’s a blender.

Movie review

“Table 19”

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, drug use, language and some brief nudity. 1:27. Fayette Mall, Hamburg, Nicholasville, Winchester.

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