Movie Review: TABLE FOR THREE (2009)

Starring: Brandon Routh, Jesse Bradford, Sophie Bush, Jennifer Morrison

Written and Directed by: Michael Samonek

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Table for Three would have been a fine romantic comedy had it contained either more romance or more comedy. Instead, it’s a movie that features very painful jokes told by some really unlikable characters with a story that has an good enough hook but with terrible execution.

Brandon Routh stars as Scott, who proposes to his girlfriend on one fateful day only to be turned down. Not only does he have to deal with that, but his best friend/roommate moves to Germany leaving the apartment and more importantly the rent solely in his hands. After a period of self-loathing, Scott realizes he can’t pay the bills and decides to find new roommates but the first few applicants are cartoonishly and unrealistically zany (seriously, REALLY unrealistically zany). Enter Ryan (Jesse Bradford) and Mary (Sophia Bush), an insanely perky couple who have been in love since the 7th grade. Although initially hesitant about the idea of living with a couple and essentially being a third wheel, Scott gives in and they move in. Everything seems to be going fine and dandy until Scott meets Leslie (Jennifer Morrison) and the two begin hitting it off. This causes sudden weird behavior in Ryan and Mary and it turns out that the world’s most perky couple may not be willing to share their new best friend.

Table for Three uses a framing device to tell the bulk of its story, which is completely useless to the narrative and feels tacked on because writer/director Michael Samonek couldn’t think of a better way to do it. This leads to a ton of voiceover narration that doesn’t enhance the story in any way and in fact hinders it as the time goes on. That’s not the only hindrance however; this movie also features some of the most annoying and unlikable characters I have seen in quite some time. Scott, the main character who we’re supposed to empathize with and root for, is both bland and whiny which doesn’t really make him all that endearing. One minute he’s showing no real personality and the next minute he’s bitching about his new roommates. Not much to like in that department.

Ryan and Mary are supposed to be annoying and unlikable, but Table for Three insists on making it over the top. Their cheesy jokes aren’t cheesy, they are just painfully unfunny. Their hyperactivity on the whole is absolutely grating. Again that is sort of their intent, but there’s a fine line between it being watchable and it making you want to shut the movie off. Table for Three falls into the latter category.

The romance between Scott and Leslie also lacks chemistry. They just sort of fall for each other because apparently both of their characters move too quickly in relationships but we aren’t given any real reason as to why. They just trade unfunny “cute” dialogue and show no real interest in each other. They just fall in love because that’s what the script says.

The worst part about Table for Three, besides the wasted talent and the unfunny script, is the fact that it drags. The premise for this movie can’t sustain long enough to last 90 minutes, so towards the end it shifts gears into a different direction that you don’t see coming and didn’t need to be there, where Scott tries to get Ryan and Mary to spend time away from one another to help their relationship out. First, Scott keeps losing girls so he’s not a good relationship expert. Second, while that may have worked while they were all friends earlier in the movie, by now they are at odds so going this route and delaying the overall mission of their road trip (if you’ve seen any rom-com, you know what it is so it’s not a spoiler) feels pointless. This kind of character building should have happened earlier when it would have made more sense and wouldn’t have felt like a “oh shit, it’s not long enough MUST ADD MORE!” situation.

Table for Three, as you can guess, is not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination. It isn’t even really good; while it’s got a decent enough premise, it doesn’t deliver. The main love story lacks the chemistry and spark needed to keep it afloat, the characters are all annoying and lack real personalities, and it isn’t particularly funny so much as it tries too hard. So why the C- instead of something lower? Well despite their annoyingness, Bradford and Bush worked well together as a comedic over the top couple duo; it’s too bad they were saddled with a crappy cheesy script. Also there were a handful of jokes I laughed at, so it wasn’t a complete wash. I would never watch it again though, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone except maybe hardcore Routh fans. Both of them. There are better rom-coms on Netflix ladies and gentlemen, pick those instead.


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