You’re invited to attend a wedding reception from a different perspective. Maybe you can relate to this film. Have you ever gone to a wedding reception where your table is full of unknown people? Or perhaps felt like the table is full of people that were too difficult to put around the other wedding reception tables? Yes? No? Either way, welcome- feel free sit down at Table 19.
While this film does have six main characters, the film’s central focus is around a woman named “Eloise” (Anna Kendrick).
After recently being dumped by the best man (via SMS) and no longer required to serve as maid of honour, Eloise makes a tough choice to attend her friend’s wedding anyway. She soon discovers she is now seated at Table 19 along with other dreaded wedding guests instead of at the bridal table.
As the film started, I loved how Table 19 provided a very brief introduction to its characters. We have the understanding that a wedding has just finished and the guests are all now making their way towards the reception. It’s this moment when the main characters of Table 19 meet each other and the film begins.
The other characters sitting Table 19 include:
* A man who has been released from prison for the day (but pretends to be in business)
* The bride’s old Nanny from childhood
* A young male teenager trying to get lucky (yep and that’s it)
* A married couple is dealing with their relationship issues.
As soon as Eloise sits down at Table 19, she’s happy to vent her life dramas to the newly founded random strangers. Still, of course, it just so happens that all our other characters here also have issues going on. Will these people connect, relate, help each other or perhaps will they have lives changed forever by the end of the day?
Table 19 has a great concept and the actors around the table are without a doubt all talented, but Table 19 fails to deliver any real connection, and I struggled to invest in its characters and the plot. The film asks us to accept the idea that a table of random people would suddenly open up about their life stories within such a short duration. Our characters, at times, will even act childish or selfish, and I began to question why these characters are at this wedding in the 1st place. As you would expect with this type of film, we witness our characters doing cheeky things in an attempt of humour, like accidentally damaging the bride and groom’s wedding a cake, or sneaking out of the wedding repetition for a lengthy period with nobody in the reception noticing they have left.
I also found it impossible to watch Table 19 without thinking about another film—the Breakfast Club. If I can explain briefly, The Breakfast Club introduced a similar idea. Still, the difference was strong in that the character development and the script for those characters connections was significant. The characters in Breakfast Club tested each other’s boundaries and then over the film’s duration, the film changed and got deeper. Our characters here have no real development or a convincing connection with each other from start to finish.
Overall, Table 19 was a disappointment for me, it displays potential at the very start before shortly crashing and burning. With a movie that asks its audience to accept the deep character moments so quickly and follows characters making silly and poor choices, this is a Wedding Event (film) I recommend you “respectfully decline” your invitation to.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden