Table 19 Review – Charming, A Quirky, Unpredictable, Dramedy

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Table 19, from Fox Searchlight Pictures, presents a quirky romantic comedy that travels the road of bad breakups, let downs, how can I hurt thee, let me count the ways, as six wedding reception table-mates address their hidden secrets.

Directed by Jeffrey Blitz, Table 19 stars Anna Kendrick, Wyatt Russell, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, Stephen Merchant, Toni Revolori, Margo Martindale, June Squibb, Amanda Crew, Rya Meyers, Carlos Aviles, Thomas Cocquerel and was written by Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass.

Table 19 begins with an overview of reception place setting planning for the upcoming nuptials including a diagram of tables for the wedding party, friends, singles, best friends, third cousins and unknowns.

The invitations are mailed out which is when we meet our main characters: Bina Kepp, played by Lisa Kudrow, and Jerry Kepp, played by Craig Robinson, are struggling, to keep the façade of happiness from falling apart, and failing. Walter, played by Stephen Merchant, a successful businessman, with a secret, Renzo, played by Toni Revolori, hoping this weekend to master his domain, receives constant phone calls from his mother played by Margo Martindale, and Jo Flanagan, played by June Squibb, the bride's childhood nanny, who also has a secret.

The final guest at Table 19, Eloise McGarry, played by Anna Kendrick, who is regulated to what was called throughout the seating assignment planning as the loser table, those who should have sent decline with regrets.

Eloise, as we find out, was the Maid of Honor until her boyfriend, Teddy, played by Wyatt Russell, the brother of the bride, Francine, played by Rya Meyers, dumped her with a text message. No longer the Maid of Honor, best friend she decides, after much angst, to attend anyway.

One by one the guests arrive at Table 19. Nanny Jo, The Kepps, Walter and Renzo each attempting small talk conversation to pass the awkwardness of barely knowing the bride, not knowing the groom, and the feeling that the hopes they each had for the weekend aren't happening.

Eloise, is clearly unhappy, and not as over her ex-Teddy, as she wants everyone and the world to believe. She apparently, has a history of outrageous, over the top actions and is repeatedly cautioned against anything that would ruin the day by Teddy and the gloating new Maid-of-Honor Nicole, played by Amanda Crew, and even before the first course she is told she is a terrible person by Nanny Jo.

Taking a time out to go along with her behavior, she stands out in the lobby for a lingering minute watching the ex-Teddy, dancing with the new queen, and is approached by a handsome English stranger,  played by Thomas Cocquerel, who after the two have an uncomfortable beginning, is twirling her across the floor, with charm and the appearance of genuine interest catapults her to center stage all the while helping her to send pangs of regrets to the ex.

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The tablemates grow into a team of compatriots following the revelations of realities and a collision that seems irreparable.

Table 19 is every bit the wedding reception with all cares and concerns cast to the wind. The bride and groom, divorced parents, trophy wives, sorority sisters, singles, married business men acting single, the film highlights a little of each especially as the evening wears on and the bow breaks so to speak, the emotions from too much champagne bringing out true motivations and confessions.

As each of our characters are on a journey Table 19 takes us to the conclusion as each is on the path of enlightenment. The actors deliver the material which includes the blow by blow of disillusioned married life, sparring dialogue, jabs of cruelty, the discomfort and doubt of crossing the floor, and simply trying to make it right, and of course our band of misfits somehow make it through the wedding reception under the "that's one for record books" radar.

Table 19 doesn't miss any of the elements from the elation of the day for the bride and groom, the mother-of-the-bride's champagne blush, the dad's new trophy wife, sneaking out to smoke pot, the commitment shy, hesitant, have I, should I, one last twirl and I'll go (or know) handsome stranger.  

The film highlights all the crazy overreactions people have when genuine displays of emotions are present. The adrenaline, or a contagious happiness, seem to have people professing long overdue and hidden feelings, apologies, or simple and final truths.

Table 19, provides a charming, eccentric, and unpredictable, voyeuristic inclusion into the wedding reception of two of the best people who were lucky enough to find each other and the 75 or so guests, who came to wish them well.  

Table 19 opens March 3, 2017.  Accept the invitation and see this romantic, quirky, dramatic comedy. 

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