When I first saw an advertisement for “Table 19” a week before it was to be released I was confused. It was a movie with Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow and many other well-known actors and yet I was just hearing about it. I received a similar reaction from my friends and family when I spoke to them family about the upcoming movie. My confusion grew even more when I watched the trailer and it looked like it was going to be good. The movie seemed to be a happy romantic comedy that would end predictably but also adorably. Only after I saw the movie did I realize exactly why it was rarely mentioned leading up to its premiere: It was bad.
The movie starts out with a main character named Eloise, played by Anna Kendrick, poring over an RSVP card to a wedding. Now, if you watched the trailer before seeing the movie – which I had –you already know that it’s the wedding invitation to her ex-boyfriend’s sister’s wedding. Eloise then proceeds to cry over the card, scribble on it angrily and then set it on fire momentarily before checking the box saying she would be coming.
In this one scene you already get an idea of how rough the movie is going to be. Immediately, it’s obvious that the main character has no actual defining qualities or aspirational traits. She is simply a moldable blob that can change shape and opinion for plot convenience and this theory reigns true throughout the film.
At this point, we’re not even five minutes into the movie and suddenly we’re brought into the wedding for half a second before everyone starts heading to the reception hall. I remember looking at my sister in shock because of the lack of lead-in. We both felt as though we were being thrown into the middle of a story with barely any context.
Then walks in Eloise, but before she joins her companions at table 19 she proceeds to have an angry conversation with her ex-boyfriend and is about to storm away when an attractive stranger with an accent approaches her. This guy was all over the trailer so you already knew who the girl was going home.
However, the directors and screenwriters apparently were trying their hardest to be different in every way so that did not happen. Oh no, less than ten minutes after Eloise walks into the ballroom, she runs out vomiting and the nanny seated next to her runs after her claiming that she is pregnant and that’s the only thing that makes sense.
This was only the beginning of a series of confusing and unnecessary plot twists. The movie went in so many different directions it left your head spinning and struggling to keep up. All the paths they walked down would have been a good framework for interesting plotlines – if they’d stuck to them.
Overall the movie was messy, confusing and contradicting. There were unnecessary twists and turns just to keep the an already disoriented audience on their toes. Yet, through all of this, I would still watch it if it made a surprise appearance on my Netflix account after a long week. The ending of the movie left a smile on my face. Quite a few of my favorite movies are my favorites because of how they make me feel at the end and despite it all, this disaster of a film somehow managed to be one of those rare movies where you walk away appreciating life and wanting to dance barefoot in the rain.