Reviews - Major Releases


Film Review: Walk of Shame

Elizabeth Banks delivers an amusing slapstick turn in this otherwise strained, formulaic comedy.

May 2, 2014

-By Frank Scheck


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1399588-Walk_of_Shame_Md.jpg
The sight of Elizabeth Banks clad in a short, tight, clingy yellow dress for most of its running time is the primary pleasure of Walk of Shame, Steven Brill's one-note comedy in which the actress, much like her hapless character, does her best to survive under trying circumstances. Playing a television news reporter forced to traverse the mean streets of Los Angeles on foot sans money or cellphone, Banks succeeds in mining a few laughs from the otherwise strained, contrived proceedings.

The central character, Meghan, is up for a cushy job at a national cable-news network run by executives who'll tolerate no moral trespasses. Her trouble begins when, despondent over a recent breakup with her fiancé, she takes up her girlfriends' offer for a night on a town, forgoing her usual staid pantsuit and instead getting tarted up in the aforementioned dress and high heels.

Getting rip-roaring drunk, she manages to get her foot stuck in a dance club's fire escape, only to be rescued by handsome passing stranger Gordon (James Marsden). After their resulting one-night stand, she slinks out of his apartment, only to discover that her car has been towed with her purse, ID and phone still in it.

A series of wacky episodes ensues as Meghan, constantly mistaken for a prostitute (really, in L.A., where even this dress would be considered practically demure?), finds herself interacting with a gallery of eccentric characters including a trio of drug dealers at a crack den; a surly, armed cabbie; a sassy bus driver; a Hasidic man who thinks that she's been sent by the devil to tempt him; and a horny adolescent boy who offers to lend her his bike if she’ll show him her boobs. All the way, she's relentlessly pursued by a pair of bumbling cops who treat her as if she’s Public Enemy No. 1.

The film has its occasionally amusing moments, such as the drug dealers delivering a surprisingly thoughtful critique of Meghan's news-anchoring skills and her run-in with an officious car impound clerk (a very funny Tig Notaro). But most of the would-be humor, including Kevin Nealon’s seemingly improvised riffing as a feckless traffic reporter monitoring the action from his helicopter, seems lazily tossed off.

Marsden's laid-back quality serves him well as the handsome knight in shining armor, and Banks certainly doesn't have to do a walk of shame regarding her performance. Gamely throwing herself into her character's desperate physical exertions, she delivers a winning turn proving that her comic chops are the equal of her beauty. Now if she could only find a better vehicle to show them off.

-The Hollywood Reporter

Click here for cast & crew information.



Film Review: Walk of Shame

Elizabeth Banks delivers an amusing slapstick turn in this otherwise strained, formulaic comedy.

May 2, 2014

-By Frank Scheck


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1399588-Walk_of_Shame_Md.jpg

The sight of Elizabeth Banks clad in a short, tight, clingy yellow dress for most of its running time is the primary pleasure of Walk of Shame, Steven Brill's one-note comedy in which the actress, much like her hapless character, does her best to survive under trying circumstances. Playing a television news reporter forced to traverse the mean streets of Los Angeles on foot sans money or cellphone, Banks succeeds in mining a few laughs from the otherwise strained, contrived proceedings.

The central character, Meghan, is up for a cushy job at a national cable-news network run by executives who'll tolerate no moral trespasses. Her trouble begins when, despondent over a recent breakup with her fiancé, she takes up her girlfriends' offer for a night on a town, forgoing her usual staid pantsuit and instead getting tarted up in the aforementioned dress and high heels.

Getting rip-roaring drunk, she manages to get her foot stuck in a dance club's fire escape, only to be rescued by handsome passing stranger Gordon (James Marsden). After their resulting one-night stand, she slinks out of his apartment, only to discover that her car has been towed with her purse, ID and phone still in it.

A series of wacky episodes ensues as Meghan, constantly mistaken for a prostitute (really, in L.A., where even this dress would be considered practically demure?), finds herself interacting with a gallery of eccentric characters including a trio of drug dealers at a crack den; a surly, armed cabbie; a sassy bus driver; a Hasidic man who thinks that she's been sent by the devil to tempt him; and a horny adolescent boy who offers to lend her his bike if she’ll show him her boobs. All the way, she's relentlessly pursued by a pair of bumbling cops who treat her as if she’s Public Enemy No. 1.

The film has its occasionally amusing moments, such as the drug dealers delivering a surprisingly thoughtful critique of Meghan's news-anchoring skills and her run-in with an officious car impound clerk (a very funny Tig Notaro). But most of the would-be humor, including Kevin Nealon’s seemingly improvised riffing as a feckless traffic reporter monitoring the action from his helicopter, seems lazily tossed off.

Marsden's laid-back quality serves him well as the handsome knight in shining armor, and Banks certainly doesn't have to do a walk of shame regarding her performance. Gamely throwing herself into her character's desperate physical exertions, she delivers a winning turn proving that her comic chops are the equal of her beauty. Now if she could only find a better vehicle to show them off.

-The Hollywood Reporter

Click here for cast & crew information.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Major Releases

As Above, So Below
Film Review: As Above, So Below

But not much in between. More »

Life of Crime review
Film Review: Life of Crime

Amateur kidnapping goes awry in a darkly comic adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel. More »

November Man
Film Review: The November Man

More than a decade after his 007 days, Pierce Brosnan is back in secret-agent mode, as a more down-to-earth but no less deadly ex-spy who gets forced back into the game. More »

When the Game Stands Tall
Film Review: When the Game Stands Tall

Enervated football drama plods along predictably. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Film Review: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Neither significantly better nor worse than its predecessor, the belated Sin City sequel is more of a repeat, rather than a continuation, of the original. More »

If I Stay
Film Review: If I Stay

Delivers as promised. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here