Friday, May 2, 2014

A One-Woman The Hangover: Walk Of Shame Is Entertaining (But Not Much More)!

The Good: Decent performances, Actually funny
The Bad: Very predictable plot arc
The Basics: Stereotypical Texan good girl news anchor Meghan Miles goes on the Walk Of Shame after a night of blackout drinking.

Ever since The Hangover (reviewed here!), the idea of a blockbuster comedy has been an attainable goal for movie studios and while there have been some high-grossing comedies since The Hangover, there have been few that are really memorable or enduring. As part of counterprogramming, Focus is betting on their comedy Walk Of Shame this weekend. Walk Of Shame is not likely to be this year’s The Love Letter (The Love Letter was, to the best of my knowledge, the only major studio film to be released opposite The Phantom Menace and it, predictably, bombed), but as counterprogramming to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, odds are it will not make a box office dent.

That said, Walk Of Shame is a pretty entertaining (if largely familiar) comedy that features Elizabeth Banks and James Marsden. The film is largely a fish-out-of-water comedy with a plot that is actually similar to that of The Hangover, save that it involves one woman and focuses on the day after the drunken revelry which is when the chaos happens (as opposed to trying to figure out what mayhem occurred). For a film I had not heard of until I actually saw it, Walk Of Shame is actually funny and surprisingly memorable. Packed with an extraordinary cast of comedic talent, Walk Of Shame actually offers exactly what it promises; the comedy is decent entertainment for moviegoers who want a legitimate option outside the barrage of superhero films and obvious blockbusters gracing the screens today.

Having been mauled by cats on camera, during a report she was doing for a local television station, KZLA5 news anchor Meghan Miles gives a pretty terrible job interview, but is one of the two anchors who could be getting a prestigious anchor job at the network. On the day that she will find out whether or not she got the job, her fiancĂ© Kyle abandons her (taking most of her possessions) and Wendy Chang gets the network position. Meghan’s friends Rose and Denise take her out to a club where she gets incredibly drunk. Rescued from a fire escape by the good-looking Gordon, the very drunk Meghan abandons her friends and goes back to Gordon’s loft where they both get blackout drunk.

Waking up without her purse (or any possessions, including her cell phone), Meghan checks her voice mail to find a message from her agent, Dan (using Gordon’s phone). Wendy Chang has been disqualified for the CNB job, so the executives are coming to Meghan’s work that night to meet with her and watch the broadcast live. With her car towed and now locked out of Gordon’s building, Meghan spends the day trying to get to work. Threatened by cops who think she is a prostitute, aided by a trio of men living hood-adjacent (one of whom gives her a vial of crack), and knowing only Kyle’s number, Meghan struggles to get uptown.

Incidents in Walk Of Shame include Meghan getting caught in a gangland shootout, getting yelled at by a crack dealer, pepper sprayed by a bus driver and finding herself in a conservative Jewish temple’s garden where she is perceived as a temptress by the student there. Walk Of Shame bears a number of similarities to The Hangover; there is a cat with crazy cg eyes that takes the place of the tiger, there is an impounded car, friends who are trying to track down the hungover protagonist and the police pursue Meghan much like the gangsters in The Hangover. Like most fish-out-of-water comedies, Walk Of Shame suffers most from its feelings of familiarity.

Walk Of Shame actually has some of its funniest moments without Meghan Miles. While the recurring thread of the Carpocalypse seems only to exist to give Kevin Nealon some wacky lines, the police officers played by Bill Burr and Ethan Suplee are legitimately hilarious. Elizabeth Banks performs convincingly as Meghan Miles and while much of the movie simply requires her to run around in a bright yellow dress and react to ridiculous characters, she pulls it off well. The character’s journey from archetypal “good girl” to car thief is presented in a surprisingly realistic fashion.

For light fare, Walk Of Shame is enjoyable, but not terribly substantive. There are far worse forms of entertainment, even this weekend. But will Focus have a blockbuster comedy? Not with Walk Of Shame. This is a movie that is entirely enjoyable to watch, but largely forgettable once it is over.

For other works with James Marsden, be sure to visit my reviews of:X-Men: Days Of Future Past
30 Rock
The Box
Sex Drive
27 Dresses
Superman Returns
X-Men: The Last Stand
X2: X-Men United
Ally McBeal


For other movie reviews, please check out my Film Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2014 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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