7 tech score
“Table 19” (Fox Searchlight)
There is a real joy in finding a quirky but totally entertaining movie like “Table 19.” This is a movie that hasn’t gotten a lot of buzz or very little attention at all. Still those who are lucky enough to bump into it are all the better for having made the connection. It is a sweet love story peopled with some off kilter characters who will win your heart. They don’t look that appealing at the start of the movie but by the end they have you.
The movie focuses on “the” table at a fancy wedding. The one where you put all those people who just don’t fit in with the rest of the group. Or as they say in the film “the ones you invite but hope they don’t come but do hope they send a great gift.” At this table, Table 19, are Eloise (Anna Kendrick), Bina and Jerry (Lisa Kudrow and Craig Morrison), Jo (June Squibb), Walter (Stephen Merchant) and Rezna (Tony Revolori).
Eloise is the former girlfriend of the Best Man, Teddy (Wyatt Russell). She is also a good friend of the bride, who is Teddy’s sister. So she is kind of welcome by the bride but not by Teddy. Bina and Jerry are owners of a small diner and friends of the family in a business way. Jo is the former nanny to Teddy and his sister. Walter is a distant relative. Finally there is Rezna. His family is friends with the bride’s family . He didn’t want to come but his mother made him because she thought this was a good place for her teen son to meet girls.
The description of the characters makes the whole thing sound contrived but it somehow isn’t. The way these six outcasts interact and bond together seems perfectly logical and totally appealing. When they find out Eloise has been dumped by Teddy they all rally to her defense, even though she hasn’t asked them to be her protectors. But as the movie progresses she becomes a part of the group and is just as protective of each of them.
Kendrick is perfectly cast as the spunky but vulnerable Eloise. It is this performance which is the glue that holds the entire cast together. If she had been too needy the movie would have failed. If she had been too assertive the movie would have failed. Kendrick gets it just right.
All of the supporting cast is solid but Squibb and Merchant do mange to steal any scene in which they appear. Squibb’s Jo at first seems the most uninteresting character, but that soon changes. Merchant’s Walter is a hoot from the word go. And at the end of the movie these are the two who linger in your memory.
The film is rated PG-13 for profanity and some adult situations.
Some movies come and go without much attention because they don’t warrant much attention. But then there are movies like “Table 19” which do warrant your interest and your support because they are so good. Don’t let this one escape your attention. Mark it down to see in theaters now or when it is released on DVD. It is an enjoyable, leave you feeling good, kind of movie.
I scored “Table 19” a room for one more 7 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper