Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Table 19’ (2017)

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Fox Searchlight

Life is messy and not particularly grid-friendly. People color outside the lines, the sort of folks who often end up at Table 19, a slice-of-life film – named for its least desirable ever seating arrangement – written and directed by Jeffrey Blitz.

During pre-credits, Eloise (Anna Kendrick) is in torment deciding whether to attend an upcoming wedding. She’s been dumped by her boyfriend Teddy (Wyatt Russell), the brother of the bride, who happens to be her best friend. Teddy will serve as best man; Eloise was to have been maid of honor. Angry and heartbroken, she’s unsure she’ll be able to get through the day.

Table 19, decidedly on the periphery of the event, is the place for “randoms,” those afterthought invitees who are all but invisible, both to others and themselves. The location is akin to a Neptunian body of water whose murky reflections keep secrets, dilemmas, yearnings, hurt and regret. Confusion is the hallmark of everyone at the table.

In addition to Eloise, the fellow “randoms” are all wrecked by what they’re keeping under the tablecloth, so to speak.

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Fox Searchlight

There are Bina and Jerry (Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson), a long-married couple who’ve lost their connection; Jo (June Squibb), a retired nanny; Walter (Stephen Merchant), a former jailbird now living in a half-way house; and Renzo (Tony Revolori) who’s desperate for a sexual hook-up.

Table 19, the destination of these guests’ internal chaos which will not stay lidded, bears witness to what self-development books refer to as finding one’s tribe and trusting in its members to find the courage to blossom, along with the real wedding-reception food that sustains a life.

Archetype: One’s Tribe. Coping. Confusion.

Astrology Archetype: ♆  (Neptune)

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