Ex-maid of honour Eloise (Anna Kendrick) – having been relieved of her duties after being dumped by the best man, and brother of the bride, via text – decides to hold her head up 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 group of strangers, most of whom should have known to just send regrets (but not before sending something nice off the registry). As everyone’s secrets are revealed, Eloise learns a thing or two from the people of Table 19. Friendships – and even a little romance – can happen under the most unlikely circumstances.
This isn’t your average wedding film, in fact it’s barely about the wedding at all! Instead the film focuses on these individuals who all had their different reasons for wanting to attend the wedding, and as the film progress each character is slowly revealed to us and the others at the table. The table itself is filled with well-known faces, Anna Kendrick leads with the main story line but is boosted by husband and wife Bina (Lisa Kudrow, Friends) and Jerry (Craig Robinson), distant cousin to the bride, Walter (Stephen Merchant, The Office), the bride’s first nanny, Jo (June Squibb) and Rezno (Tony Revolori) a mummy’s boy who just wants to meet a girl. With the likes of Anna, Lisa and Stephen, I was excited to see Table 19, and the trailer made it seem very funny and a good watch. Unfortunately most of the laughs were shown in the trailer. That’s not to say that Table 19 isn’t a good film, it’s just not as funny as the trailer made it out to be.
Anna Kendrick does a very good job at leading the film, she’s great at these kind of roles where comedy is entwined with more serious matters – for it turns out that Eloise is hiding a secret – and it’s easy to like her character and want the best for her. Of course Eloise isn’t the only one with a secret, Stephen Merchant brings the most laughs with his character Walter who’s secret is probably the biggest and one that isn’t revealed until near the end. Stephen has always been a favourite of mine, and he really pulls off his role here so much so that I’d say his is my favourite character of the film. Being a huge Friends fan I love anything that has one of the cast in it so I was excited to see Lisa again. It’ll always be strange to see them acting different roles – and having aged a lot since Friends was made! – but Lisa does a great job as Bina, who’s marriage is struggling and there are some emotional scenes between Bina and Jerry. In fact there are quite a few emotional scenes throughout, not only from Bina and Jerry but also Eloise and Nanny Jo. Table 19 does a very good job at mixing all these different lives together in humour and moving ways, touching on topics that affect everyone today.
Overall, Table 19 is a good film, it’s definitely not as funny as the trailer makes out but that’s not to say there aren’t any laughs – there are plenty! The story line is also not what you’d expect from the trailer either, probably due to the fact that each character has a serious or emotional issue to confront and it’s not the traditional romantic-comedy wedding film you usually get. It’s definitely a film I’d be happy to watch again, just not one I’ll be rushing out to buy.