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  • by Wes Singleton

Table 19, C-


Rated PG-13, 87 minutes

The trite, contrived new comedy "Table 19" is another of those quirky films that appeals to the outcast in all of us. It certainly has admirable intentions along with a talented cast, but it's fairly useless at making some valid points about relationships or fitting in, and nearly every other "quirky" independent has essentially the same thing, and probably better done, too.

Ex-maid of honor Eloise (Anna Kendrick) - having been relieved of her duties after being dumped by the best man via text - decides to attend her oldest friend's wedding anyway. She finds herself seated with an assortment of unusual strangers (June Squibb, Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant, Craig Robinson and Tony Revolori), the table intended for "random" people, yet ends up learning some life lessons from them.

Directed by Jeffrey Blitz and co-written by Blitz along with Mark and Jay Duplass of the HBO series "Togetherness," the likable "Table 19" is about as unmemorable and awkward as suffering through a wedding reception of someone you didn't care about. It has some charming moments and lead Kendrick is as appealing as ever, but it's too predictable and forced: nearly all of these characters are portrayed in such an unsympathetic light you don't really want to spend that much time with them, and it's rather baffling how much time they spend together during the film.

Squibb is the plucky former nanny, Kudrow and Robinson the unhappily married owners of a small diner, Revolori (of "The Grand Budapest Hotel") is a nerdy teen, and Merchant of the original British version of "The Office" is an odd ex-con who somehow made his way to the wedding. None of them have much in common, but they end up taking walks together and smoking pot, giving each other sermons about how to live their lives in the right way. Not much of it revelatory or all that fun, though Kendrick and Squibb do their best to, with Squibb's bright red wig one of the more entertaining aspects of the movie.

"Table 19," in spite of its good intentions, is mostly an annoyance and while we certainly get its familiar point - be nice to outsiders or those different from you - it's best to probably find something more satisfying to spend 90 minutes of your time.

#table19 #annakendrick #jeffreyblitz