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June 15, 2018

Table 19 (2017) --- "You're Invited To The Wedding Of The Season. Take A Number. #19 Will Be Interesting."

Plot Summary
Ex-maid of honor Eloise - having been relieved of her duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text - decides to hold her head high and attend her oldest friend's wedding anyway. She finds herself seated at the random table in the back of the ballroom with a disparate group of strangers, most of whom should have known to just send regrets. As everyone's secrets are revealed, Eloise learns a thing or two from the denizens of Table 19. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
    Table 19 (2017) is a rom-com (romantic comedy) at it’s finest, despite what everyone else says. The film takes place over the course of several hours during a  hotel wedding reception. As the happy couple celebrates with family and friends a group of strangers sits at the dreaded ‘last table in the back’. This group of strangers participates in uncomfortable banter and situation while trying to ignore the obvious reasons for the seating placement.
    Director Jeffery Blitz and the Duplass brother’s, Mark and Jay, have written an incredibly quirky and light-hearted story that has depth hidden within its witty banter and comedic moments. Table 19 plays out much like the subject matter and like every wedding, you don’t exactly know what’s going to happen next. There could be complete chaos or heartwarming tears, though most of the time it is somewhere in the middle. In a way, the story pays homage to The Breakfast Club (1985) with its rom-com feel and its odd collection of main characters, while the detention aspect is used as a way for the characters to meet.  The same can be said for the film’s music soundtrack. The soundtrack (John Swihart - Napolean Dynamite; How I Met Your Mother) is well chosen as each song manages to encompass the feeling of every scene. In regards to the story’s ending, there are a few loose ends that are never fully resolved but the film quickly lulls you back in with its romantic charm, unique storyline, and hilarious characters.
    The characters are broad but the relationships they form with each other is special despite being stuck at the ‘last table in the back’. Anna Kendrick (The Hollars) delivers her usual quirky girl next door role but for her, this is a role she excels at. If you follow Kendrick on social media then you will find out that she is just as confused about being a grown up in real life as the characters she portrays on screen. Here her brand of quirky acting is well placed and the way in which she throws herself into the fray is almost noble in a way. This is by no means simply another Anna Kendrick rom-com and her participation in this film easily helps elevate the rest of the cast. Stephen Merchant (Logan) is interesting as the strangely tall, Franken-walking family member, Walter. Lisa Kudrow (Friends) and Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine) are amusing as the argumentative couple, Bina & Jerry Kepp. Tony Revolori (Spider-Man: Homecoming) is hilarious as Renzo and the FTH (far too honest) phone calls he has with his mother, who dubbs herself his wing-woman, are highlights of his character. Jun Squibb (Nebraska) is adorable as the old nanny, Jo Flannagan, and her words of wisdom to Kendrick's character are heartwarming. Wyatt Russell (Overlord 2018) is great as the kind of passive-aggressive ex-boyfriend, Teddy who later proves to be much sweeter and kindhearted then first believed. In short, this cast was wonderful.
    Overall, Table 19 (2017) is a quirky and light-hearted film,  much like the unique banjo version of Pachabel's Canon in D that plays in the film’s opening scene. As before mentioned, the film is similar to The Breakfast Club with its use of a wedding reception as the story’s setting and a premise for the characters to meet, rather than being dressed up as a big event. The character performances are charming and realistic. From the Kepp’s growing bickering to Walter’s strang backstory, from Renzo’s awkward search for a girlfriend to Nanny Jo’s denial of being forgotten, and from Teddy’s fear of being a screw up to Eloise’s uncertainty of the future; there are a lot of laughs and awkward moments to go around. This is by no means a blockbuster hit but if you are a fan of romantic comedies or even The Breakfast Club (1985) then you will enjoy Table 19 (2017).

"It's the same wedding; it's the same celebration no matter what table you're at."
- Eloise

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  8 of 10 stars
Worth Buying:  8 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar 
27 Dresses (2008)
Bachelorette (2012)
Big Wedding, The (2013)
Bride Wars (2009)
Five-Year Engagement, The (2012)
In-Laws, The (2003)
License to Wed (2007)
Love Is All You Need (2012)
Made of Honor (2008)
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again (2018)
Monster-in-Law (2005)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)
Our Family Wedding (2010)
Revenge of the Bridesmaids (2010)
Wedding Date, The (2005)
Wedding Planner, The (2001)

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