YOU probably already know the premise of Table 19 without even releasing it. You know that group of people sat at the very back table at a wedding, the folks that are barely connected to the happy couple but were invited out of obligation – perhaps you have been assigned one of those seats. Aye, that.
This lightweight but harmless and really quite endearing character comedy explores the various quirky personas sat around that very table. Chief among them is Eloise (Anna Kendrick) who has just been dumped after two years (by text, to her disbelief) by the guy who is now the best man at the wedding of her estranged best friend to which she didn’t want or expect to be invited.
The group also includes Stephen Merchant’s towering oddball Walter, who tries his utmost to keep his true nature as a prisoner out on day release a secret from the others, and Tony Revolori (who you might recognise as the trusted lobby boy from Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel) as nervous 20-something Rezno whose obsessive mum keeps calling him every two seconds.
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There’s June Squibb as a doting elderly lady Jo, who is ever-ready with sage advice, and finally Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson, who add some much-needed emotion as Bina and Jerry, a couple whose marriage has hit the rocks almost without them really knowing it.
There’s nothing particularly ground-breaking about this comedy, which has a story credit by mumblecore pioneers Jay and Mark Duplass, but under the direction of Jeffrey Blitz (Rocket Science, The US Office) it has a far more mainstream style. In fact, it’s rather inconsequential by the end and nothing you’re going to remember in a few weeks.
And yet there’s something oddly charming about its low-key quirkiness and laid back hang out movie feel. It undoubtedly benefits from that solid, fittingly oddball cast who all have nice chemistry with each other, while a satisfying ending is waiting in the wings to send you away with a spring in your step.