Oh, Eloise seems so put together as she makes her entrance way back there to sit with the other (very) strangers sitting around table in the way back in the reception of her best friend, whose brother is the best man. And also is the guy who dumped her two months ago. By text. Which she shares with the married couple who own a diner, the gangly nephew of the father of the bride, the nanny of the bride, and a kid who … well, I never really got why this odd teen was invited as I sat through the 87 minutes of Table 19 with my dear wife Karen with three other people at a small theater for a 11:45 a.m. Saturday showing in the Regal Cinemas chain in the Syracuse mega shopping, dining and entertainment complex Destiny USA.
We know that Eloise had to battle with herself to be there at all, because director and screenwriter Jeffrey Blitz showed us this glaringly at the top as she checked no, checked yes, set her RSVP card on fire and blew it out …
Former beau Teddy is pretty surprised she showed up at all, we discover, as they begin a banter that turns evil and loud.
Eloise also turns on her tablemates, describing to each and every one of them why they were relegated to the table on which the bride’s mother attached a shockingly nasty label. Their faces fall. Mine as well. Too mean, just to make herself feel better. At their expense. The trailer didn’t prepare me for this brand of Anna Kendrick movie.
But then the nanny, played by the pleasingly eccentric June Squibb, figures out just why Eloise is acting like this. And she rallies the other table mates to come to her aid.
All of a sudden they’re going through all sorts of antics in attempt to make this day work out for her.
But still …
Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson don’t really work as the stale married couple, OK while taken apart but stilted as a couple that’s lost all pizzazz. They have no chemistry as a pair that’s lost all chemistry.
Would the nerdish tall guy with no social skills actually be able to function at all? Stephen Merchant makes the most of AWKWARD!
Could a mother put such coming-of-age sexual pressure on her teen son via constant phone calls? Tony Revolori really makes the most of VERY AWKWARD!
Why does this retired nanny wear a wig and carry a bag of pot?
They all seem more at ease making Eloise’s dilemma their own.
Teddy, meanwhile, has his own baggage with which to deal, including the maid of honor, his new woman, who’s ready to step in and tell Eloise exactly what she thinks of the deal. (Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt and Goldie Hawn, looks like dad as he tussles with his emotional minefield.)
All of this effort is well placed, as Blitz puts a bow on it.
Strange still, but strangers no longer.
If you’ve been placed at a table with all strangers, how did it turn out?