The lessons, like the jokes, are as warmed-over as reception catering: Dopes Tony Revolori plays an awkward teen virgin on a mission to get laid, and, acting on vague tell-girls-whats-good-about-you sitcom-style advice from Robinsons character, approaches a young woman and declares that hes packing an enormous penis. Its not funny from a president-to-be in a debate, and its not funny here. Robinson and Kudrow get the worst of the material, as their comic bickering soon proves not comic at all. Rather than spark against each other, this couple grinds, crabbing and frumping until just before the end, when movie magic demands they both realize that being married means being present. Kendrick, meanwhile, is typically game and accomplished, not just hitting her marks but finding dizzying variations on them. Early on, punch-drunk from the attentions of a dashing hunk, her character tries to swallow back her obvious crush, to keep on being surly and disappointed despite the smile threatening to crack her scowl. The scene is a perfect celebration of her gifts: She speaks some words too loudly, repeats others in a stammer, marches away with stiff-legged seriousness and gives the game away with a goony grin that flashes as she exits. Shes good throughout, of course, at the romance, comedy and the uncertain drama. Her characters ex (Wyatt Russell) is the best man at this wedding, and the filmmakers are too humane to let him just be the ass he seems at first. But those initial impressions (and Russells ickily stringy hair) are so convincing that its easy as a viewer to resist the later developments and to root actively against the rom-com plotting that Table 19 half-embraces and half-parodies.
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