Keep It Reel: ‘Table 19’

By Marc Woodfork

For those old enough or hip enough to remember the 1980s iconic film “The Breakfast Club”,   “Table 19” is very familiar. It’s “Breakfast Club” without the teen angst.

“Table 19” is fun, witty and charming.  Anna Kendrick is the ex-maid of honor who gets seated at dreaded table 19 along with other third and fourth level guests.  Anyone who has ever gone to a wedding knows what it’s like to wonder your level of importance depending on your table assignment.

“Table 19” shines of many levels.  The ensemble cast features Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, and a very good performance by Tony Revolori (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”).   The script is plain and simple.  It doesn’t depend on long, drawn-out, dialogue-heavy scenes. Instead, it relies on the actors’ ability to use their own wittiness and sharp tack to carry the film.

“Table 19” does rely on Kendrick to move the story forward, but when it settles into the ensemble cast, in the last third of the film, “Table 19” hits it stride and becomes genuinely heartfelt.

The film takes a turn for the serious when you get to know the other characters at the table and learn about the various backstories and personal lives. Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson are a married couple who have lost a part of their relationship.  One other person seated at the table was at one point the nanny of the bride but has been long become an afterthought by the family. She’s played by veteran screen actor June Squibb,

“Table 19” has moments that are laugh-out-loud hilarious and others that touch on very important and serious topics.

“Table 19” will not win any awards and will probably be forgotten in a month. And despite touching on some important themes, “Table 19” doesn’t take itself too seriously.  It’s fun, much like its film inspiration “The Breakfast Club.”

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