Sunday, 8 February 2015

Walk Of Shame (2014)

Steven Brill isn't exactly a writer-director you may want to rely on for your comedy movie needs. He does, after all, have a filmography that includes Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds, Drillbit Taylor, and even a segment in Movie 43. I'm not saying that I dislike all of those films. I'm just saying that many other people dislike them. Despite how you feel about those films, Walk Of Shame still ends up being worth a watch thanks to the fact that it stars Elizabeth Banks.

Banks stars as Meghan Miles, a news reporter poised to get her dream job as an anchor. When it looks like she's lost the job, Meghan takes up an offer from her friends (Gillian Jacobs and Sarah Wright) to go out and drink lots, and LOTS, of alcohol. She ends up heading off with the cute barman (James Marsden) and they enjoy a magical night of shared booze, pizza and frolics. Waking up the next morning with a sore head, hazy memory of the events from the previous night, and a voicemail message informing her that she is now back in with a chance for the anchor job, Meghan has to get home and prepare to impress her potential new employers. Unfortunately, an incident with an aggressive cat leaves her outside with no phone, no car (it's been towed), and no knowledge of what button to buzz to wake up her new maybe-boyfriend. Things quickly go from bad to worse.

You may or may not already know that Walk Of Shame didn't do well, to put it mildly. Not well at all. It flopped hard. Which I think is a great shame. I am willing to concede that, once again, I may be the lone voice of dissent here, but this is a fun romp that wrings most of the comedy from putting the lovely Miss Banks into increasingly dire circumstances. Whether she's avoiding police who think that she's a prostitute, stuck in a crackhouse or trying to get a ride on a bus despite having no money for the fare, Banks is always a lot of fun. Jacobs, Wright and Marsden all do well as the people who end up trying to track our leading lady down, while Bill Burr and Ethan Suplee provide laughs as the police officers doing the same thing for very different reasons. Lawrence Gilliard Jr, Da'vone McDonald and Alphonso McAuley are enjoyable enough as Scrilla, Hulk and Pookie, the three main men in the crackhouse that Banks ends up in, and Kevin Nealon is a lot of fun in his small role, the traffic reporter who looks down on the action from a helicopter.

Brill doesn't do anything to set your world on fire. He keeps everything moving along, and peppers the whole thing with a selection of amusing characters and lines of dialogue. In short, he does what's required. I'm not going to spend a lot of time and energy extolling this as some kind of misunderstood modern classic. It's not. I'm just surprised that it fared quite as badly as it did. There were quite a few movies released in 2014 far more deserving of your ire than this one. Although I admit that maybe my love of Elizabeth Banks makes me slightly biased.


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