Table 19 was a somewhat unique idea.
Basically, it’s a melodrama about a wedding in which we follow the stories of the people who were placed at the very last guest table. Hence the title, “Table 19”. It’s about a bunch of rejects, or at least the people who the bride and groom cared the least about. As soon as I realized that this was what it was going to be about, I was somewhat excited. If done well, this could be a really smart, heartfelt melodrama that could mock the cliches of weddings and being at ones where you feel like an uninvited guest…
… Instead, Table 19 decided it was going to be a moronic movie with almost no thought into its execution.
If you want to get an idea of just how much of a waste of time this movie will be, you will get a good idea by looking at the poster for ten seconds.
Table 19 is as dumb, mediocre, and passionless as the blurbs on the poster make it out to be.
The unfortunate thing about this film is that it’s not necessarily poorly casted. Anna Kendrick, the girl who didn’t want to go the wedding but decided to begrudgingly, is serviceable in her role. Craig Robinson and Lisa Kudrow, the angry married couple who hardly know the bride and groom, weren’t terrible. June Squibb, the forgotten childhood nanny, was actually great sometimes. And the white male weirdo and the Indian male weirdo were… fine when they weren’t making me cringe.
What really kills this movie is the script, which frequently seemed like it didn’t know where it wanted to go and often relied heavily on overused lines and cliches. There were a few times where I felt some sparks of sincerity within the dialogue, but they are few and far between.
The cinematography and editing frequently felt like they didn’t know how to relay information effectively. There were scenes where a cut was made that was so jarring that I was taken out of the moment. There were moments that were so sped up that I couldn’t understand what was going on. And even still, there were moments during a scene that were so boring that I zoned out and missed some information.
Something that frequently took me out of the movie was the fact that I’ve gone to almost ten weddings in the past three years, and there were constant moments in this film where a scene would happen, and I would think “That would never happen at a wedding.” Whenever these scenes did happen, most of them felt like they were done for the sake of comedy, but none of it was funny at all. And whenever it wasn’t done for comedy, it either unsuccessfully established a dramatic revelation, or it was just really lazy.
Now you may be thinking, “Well, just because it’s never happened at a wedding you’ve attended doesn’t mean that it would never happen at another wedding.”
Trust me, hypothetical straw-man I just made up, some of this stuff would never happen at a wedding. I’ve gone to really expensive weddings, really cheap weddings, my own wedding, and all of the kinds in between. Much of the stupid crap that happens in this movie simply would not happen.
Now, if they made these scenes, and they had some self-awareness of how ridiculous some of these premises were, and they had characters that acknowledged that these types of things would never happen, then I wouldn’t be making this complaint. But the film never seemed aware of these moments.
This movie has way too many times where I was cringing out of complete embarrassment. Some of these moments are intentionally awkward, but there were moments where the tone of the movie was obviously trying to make me feel something else, but all I could do was just feel embarrassed.
The sad thing is that I really wanted to like this movie. It’s a fun concept that could have been really clever, witty, and heartfelt. But Table 19 is never clever, never witty, and only seldom heartfelt. If only this project was given to a better writer and director, then I could easily see this being an amazing movie. As it stands, it is just idiotic and forgettable.