comscore Your seat at this ‘Table’ could easily go unfilled | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Your seat at this ‘Table’ could easily go unfilled


    Craig Robinson, left, Stephen Merchant and Anna Kendrick attend a wedding in “Table 19.”

“Table 19”


(PG-13, 1:27)

The wedding-themed romantic comedy “Table 19” is like that big, 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 couldn’t help but expect more.

“Table 19” comes in cool wrapping. It has a solid comedic cast (Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Tony Revolori), and a director (Jeffrey Blitz) known for the acclaimed spelling-bee documentary “Spellbound” and episodes of “The Office.” It was written by indie kings Jay and Mark Duplass of “The Puffy Chair,” “Cyrus” and “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” fame.

Still, while it’s never less than pleasant, “Table 19” is disappointing and forgettable.

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 (Kudrow, Robinson), former nanny Jo Flanagan (Squibb), nervous and lonely teenager Rezno (Revolori) and gangly inmate out for the weekend Walter (Stephen Merchant). Of course, they bond over their orphan status.

While this situation could have been revelatory, the humor is generally tepid, with a character even predictably toppling over the wedding cake. The few moments of genuine laughter are provided by Merchant, who steals the film with his gaunt, 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 actually 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.

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