“Table 19,” directed by Jeffrey Blitz, is advertised as just another comedy, but the film showcases an emotional side that grabs at the audience’s heartstrings as it progresses.
Eloise McGarry (Anna Kendrick) begrudgingly accepts the invitation to a wedding after the bride’s brother, Teddy Milner (Wyatt Russell), ended their relationship two months before. McGarry used to be the maid of honor with Milner as the best man, until they broke up.
Besides dating Milner, McGarry had no other connections to the bride’s family, moving her from prestigious table one to dreaded table 19. When McGarry had to help the bride plan for the wedding, she learned the meaning of each assignment. Unfortunately, table 19 was where the “randoms” were placed.
Table 19 hosted five other guests: the bride’s first nanny Jo Flanagan (June Squibb), desperate teen Rezno Eckberg (Tony Revolori), married couple Bina (Lisa Kudrow) and Jerry Kepp (Craig Robinson), and cousin Walter Thimple (Stephen Merchant), who had just been released from jail.
Many jokes and comedy clichés in the beginning fooled the audience into believing “Table 19” was going to be like every other comedy until they are hit with the scene that moves the direction of the movie. When the misfits of Table 19 eventually befriend each other, they bond and reveal melancholic secrets. Some equally heartwarming and heart-wrenching interactions between the characters keep the audience hooked to the film.
“Table 19” ends with a bittersweet epilogue and makes a reference to the beginning where each of the members at table 19 received wedding invitations in the mail.
Kendrick, Revolori, Squibb, Kudrow, Robinson and Merchant were not only excellent at the comedic aspect of the movie, but they also portrayed the realistic, unhappy side of their characters. However, there wasn’t so much sadness that the movie became unbearable; there was balance between the joyful and gloomy moments. One scene involved McGarry crying in the wedding venue’s bathroom, and Revolori, Squibb, Kudrow, Robinson and Merchant portrayed empathy that looked natural and still incorporated jokes to lighten the mood.
Kendrick was especially talented with her role in “Table 19.” Her lead as Beca in “Pitch Perfect,” another comedy, is one of the most memorable throughout her career. Beca and McGarry are similar in the way that their humor is like a mask, and they usually prefer dealing with problems alone. At first, McGarry rejected the attempts at friendship from Flanagan, Eckberg, Thimple and the Kepps because she only wanted to prove that she didn’t care about Milner anymore. This is like Beca when her college’s acapella group was pushing her to audition, but all Beca wanted to do was focus on her solo music career.
Freshman Julia Kelly says, “Anna Kendrick is a great, funny, wholesome actress. She does a great job as a strong, female lead in the movies she’s in, like ‘Pitch Perfect’.”
Kendrick showcased McGarry’s traits well and made McGarry easy to understand and relate to. In the beginning, McGarry is very indecisive and does not know if she should attend the wedding or not due to her ex boyfriend being the best man. She burns part of the invitation when she realized she should go and frantically tries to put out the fire. Kendrick made McGarry very realistic in this comedic scene, as this is how most would react when they have to face their ex.
Sophomore Emily Hoven says, “She uses her empathy and her words and skills to portray and bring a little comedy to all her stories.”
Blitz made a smart move with the introduction and conclusion of the movie. When the table 19 group opens their mail in the very beginning and end, the movie comes full circle. During the final scenes, Blitz also made sure to provide an emotional closure for the audience. He had the audience expect a shameless comedy, but gave a thought-provoking story with deep, individual characters instead.
With a beautiful story and a talented cast, “Table 19” is sure to win a special place in the hearts of its audience.
The only plan one should have this upcoming weekend is buying tickets to experience a rollercoaster of emotions while watching “Table 19.”
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