Table 19 (2017)
Premise: Eloise (Anna Kendrick) is invited to the wedding of her oldest friend. Only problem is, Eloise split up with the best man and has been relegated to the table (19) of weirdos and undesirables.
Delivery: “He's a lovely man, he's always been nice to me. Well except for when he made me go to prison.”
After watching the very funny BBC Christmas comedy Click and Collect, I realised I need more Merchant in my life. Stephen Merchant has long been synonymous with Ricky Gervais, but he's carving a very nice path of his own in the UK and in Hollywood as both a writer and actor. Even appearing in violent comic book action film Logan, he has range more than just the “lanky, goggly eyed freak” Oggy the Oggmonster of The Office.
Table 19 was one of Merchant's films I hadn't seen, the trailer looked good and it has a great cast. Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson are favourites of mine. Tony Revolori and June Squibb who complete the table of misfits are very funny in this too.
However, ugh, weddings. Treat them like drugs- just say no. Actually that's not true. Delicious drugs are much harder to say no to than weddings. Do you want to go to a vomit inducing celebration of two people's love, or do you want the glamour of an alleyway with tin foil and a lighter? If I sound confused, it's because I am. I both hate and love weddings.
Table 19 starts well, the oddball characters on the table getting plenty of funnies in as they meet. Somewhat surprisingly, the film hits you with the sympathetic, emotional punch towards the middle. One might usually expect this at the end, but I thought it was well handled due to the strength of the actors' pathos. It worked, making Table 19 a bit different.
From this point the humour drops off a bit, and I think the slight shift in tone is what explains the rather harsh (5.8) IMDb score.
What Table 19 doesn't do, is go on too long or severely run out of jokes in the third act. Both of these things bug me a lot about mainstream comedies currently. The joke rate drops off, but it never goes, and by that point you should be in love enough with the characters for it not to matter. Yes I said in love. LOVE THEM YOU MONSTER! What have I become?
Bedsit it? Yes. Ignore the IMDb score, mine is the only one that matters. Table 19 is a 12A so there's no gross out cheap laughs, it's a comedy with a romantic element, and a heart. Eccentric and a little bit different; I very much enjoyed it. A strong 7/10 which could go up with time.