Metro-East Living

Laughs are few and far between in stale wedding comedy ‘Table 19’

This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows, from left, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Stephen Merchant, Anna Kendrick and Tony Revolori in a scene from the film, “Table 19.”
This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows, from left, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Stephen Merchant, Anna Kendrick and Tony Revolori in a scene from the film, “Table 19.” AP

​What It’s About: The stale wedding comedy “Table 19” squanders a decent ensemble of comic actors.

Anna Kendrick (“Pitch Perfect”) is Eloise, who gave up her role as maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding when she broke up with the bride’s brother. He’s the best man, and has moved on, much to her dismay.

She sits with a disparate group of strangers at a faraway table, who all get caught up in her misery. During a reception that seems to drag on interminably, these guests bond as awkward ‘outsiders.’

One expects more from clever filmmakers Mark and Jay Duplass, who wrote the screenplay. The brothers have specialized in quirky character-based works, such as “The Puffy Chair,” “Cyrus” and “Jeff, Who Lives at Home.”

While there are some amusing moments, the laughs are few and far between. Several subplots are unexpected, but overall, the writing seems uninspired.

Performances: Kendrick plays a plucky young woman who is having a hard time coping with a broken heart. Being around her ex-boyfriend Teddy (Wyatt Russell) has made matters worse.

The pair have little chemistry. The bland Russell (“Everybody Wants Some!”) is miscast. Kendrick has more sparks with a random encounter — Thomas Cocquerel as Huck.

The ensemble does what they can with their roles, as dreary as their subplots are. Oscar nominee June Squibb is the wise childhood nanny of the bride while goofy Stephen Merchant (BBC’s “The Office”) is a mysterious relative with a shady past. Craig Robinson (“The Office”) and Lisa Kudrow (“Friends”) are an unhappily married couple who own a diner. Tony Revolori (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”) is a teenager with raging hormones.

What Works: The wedding guests dance up a storm to a non-stop parade of ’80s hits.

What Doesn’t Work: The direction is ho-hum too. Director Jeffrey Blitz, an Emmy winner for “The Office,” takes a safe, sitcom-esque approach without injecting any oomph or edge.

Wedding experiences are universal and obviously a good source of material, but this mash-up of tones and lackluster execution makes this a completely forgettable, disposable work.

Table 19

Stars: Two

Director: Jeffrey Blitz

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Wyatt Russell, Lisa Kudrow, June Squibb, Stephen Merchant, Craig Robinson and Tony Revolori

Rated: PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, drug use, language and some brief nudity

Length: 1 hour, 27 minutes

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