Review: ‘Table 19’ mirrors uncomfortable waves of life

Posted on Mar 20 2017 - 8:01am by Sarah Smith
Table 19

“Table 19” photo courtesy:

Watching Anna Kendrick’s latest feature, “Table 19,” feels a little bit like going through the awkward stages of being a teenager: a little painful, but still priceless. Nevertheless, it doesn’t fail to pull heart strings and give a good laugh when things get too tense.

In the movie, Table 19 is the table where guests who shouldn’t have even bothered showing up to the wedding are assigned to sit, according to the film’s protagonist, Eloise (Kendrick). Eloise considers herself at the top of the list of undesirables, considering she is the former maid of honor and was recently dumped by the best man and brother of the bride, Teddy (Wyatt Russell, “22 Jump Street”).

The other table 19 guests include awkward and un-eloquent Renzo Eckberg (Tony Revolori, “Dope”), who attends the wedding in search of a girlfriend. He is on the prowl at the wedding instead of attending his junior prom, because his mother told him he had a better chance at the wedding. Reminding everyone of time when they would do anything to get a dance with someone, he provides some cringe-worthy humor by reminding us all of the awkward stages of dating.

Bina and Jerry Kepp (Lisa Kudrow, “Easy A,” and Craig Robinson, “This is the End”) are a long-time married couple, with some tension in their marriage. They are diner owners who barely know the bride and groom but still showed up for the wedding.

Jo Flanagan (June Squibb, “Nebraska”) is the former nanny of the bride and best man. A hilarious woman with kind words and perfect timing, she is an unexpected and delightful character. She’s a woman who has worked her whole life taking care of others.

Ex-con Walter Thimple (Stephen Merchant, “The Office”) enters as the cousin of the bride who previously stole money from the bride’s father.  Walter provides much-needed comic relief from both his own serious comments and those from other characters. Willing to help at every turn, Walter is a character one won’t likely forget due to his socially inept, creepy nature.

The storyline is complicated and seemingly realistic as it delves into problems these people have in their personal lives.

“Table 19” explores issues of self-esteem, marriage, pregnancy and illness. The movie tackles what people think about their lives but are rarely vocal about, especially at an occasion like a wedding.

While it is clunky at points and sometimes the humor fails to shine, it’s a movie that makes one reconsider life and is all too much life-like.

This movie is worth seeing because it’s clunky and feels like an ill-fitting shoe; it’s meant to. The whole purpose of this movie is that life is uncomfortable and doesn’t have a movie ending.

The irony of this film is bittersweet. Some characters reconcile their differences, while other relationships are brought to an inevitable end. It fits the “dramedy” genre well, with a highly unexpected ending.

All the characters brought different things to the table, and by the end of the night they learned not only about each other but also about themselves, leaving with friendships they didn’t have before.

It’s sad but hopeful. “Table 19” is great for a good laugh and a decent message about how things don’t always turn out how you want them to — sometimes in bad ways, sometimes in good ways and sometimes in unexpected ways.

It’s not the best movie of the season, by far.

But it is a fair movie that deserves a watch. If you can’t get tickets to the latest blockbusters, it’s worth giving this one a try.  


Movie Rating: B-