Susan Granger’s review of “Table 19” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Angst-riddled weddings have always been ripe for satire but this rom-com doesn’t satisfy even the most meager expectations.
Eloise McGarry (Anna Kendrick) was supposed to be Maid-of-Honor at her oldest friend’s Midwestern wedding but then the bride’s brother/Best Man, Teddy (Wyatt Russell), breaks up with her – via a text message.
So clumsy, insecure Eloise finds herself relegated to a remote section of the reception, seated with the losers that the bridal couple felt obligated to invite but hoped wouldn’t come.
Bickering Bina and Jerry (Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson) own a diner. Elderly, pot-smoking Jo (June Squibb) was the bride’s childhood nanny. The bride’s cousin Walter (Stephen Merchant) is just out of prison for embezzlement but doesn’t want anyone to know. And virginal, teenage Renzo (Tony Revolori) is eager for some carnal experience.
Bitter about her place on the seating chart and hurt by watching Teddy make moves on the replacement Maid-of-Honor (Amanda Crew), Eloise enjoys a brief flirtatious distraction with Huck (Thomas Cocquerel), an Aussie wedding crasher.
But when Hank disappears, heartsick Eloise finds herself bonding with her disparate tablemates.
Based on a generic story by Mark and Jay Duplass, writer/director Jeffrey Blitz (“Spellbound,” “Rocket Science”) pivots around Eloise’s awkward situation, glossing over any semblance of character development.
After debuting in Blitz’s “Rocket Science” and showcasing her comedic timing in “Up in the Air,” vivacious Anna Kendrick deserves better than this, as do the rest of the cast. Remember June Squibb in her Oscar-winning supporting role in “Nebraska”? And how charming Tony Revolori was in “Grand Budapest Hotel”?
FYI: Unmistakably resembling his father, Wyatt Russell is the son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Table 19” is a deficient 4. Decline with regrets.