Raunchy … but worth seeing.

Walk of shame is not exactly an original sort of comedy.  A recent phenomenon (one I don’t quite understand) is the raunchy ‘let’s get drunk and do stupid things and go on wild adventures’ genre.  Folks have gone nuts for things like The Hangover, Hot Tub Time Machine and Bridesmaids—and so Walk of Shame is certainly not unique in the least.  However, despite being a nasty, raunchy and occasionally offensive film, it did manage to make me laugh and is a bit better than the films I just mentioned (although, since I don’t like the genre, it really isn’t saying much).  I am not proud of myself for enjoying this film but I did.

Elizabeth Banks stars as Meghan, a not supremely talented news anchor in Los Angeles who is in the running for a big network anchor position.  However, she’s learned she ALMOST got it but the network execs chose someone else.  To help her get over her disappointment, her two trashy friends take her out for a night on the town—to get her drunk and to forget about her problems.  Does the idea sound familiar?!  Well, this turns into a one-night stand with a bartender (James Marsden) and at this point I was really NOT impressed.

Walk of Shame
Written & Directed by
Steven Brill
Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, Gillian Jacobs
Release Date
2 May 2014
Martin’s Grade: B+

So far, I’d seen a lot of boorish behavior and none of it was very funny.  However, it DID get better.  When Meghan awakens from this revelry, she finds she’s in his apartment—and she has no idea exactly where this is.  To make things a LOT worse, when she quickly leaves, she finds her car has been towed….and it has her purse and phone in it.  And…she’s wearing her friend’s yellow dress…and it is a VERY slutty looking dress.  So, she’s stranded in a part of town she’s unfamiliar with, she has no money, no i.d. and is dressed like a ‘professional woman’.  Well…no problem.  She’ll just hail a cab, get her car and pay the cabbie and go home.  However, the cabbie takes her to a horrible part of town and refuses to drive her further because she cannot pay—and threatens to shoot her!  She escapes…and a long series of crazy events take place.  How crazy?  See the film.

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I think the reason this film worked for me was that although it was offensive (needlessly offensive at times), the characters and situations Meghan found herself in were very funny.  Of all of these, I think I enjoyed her meeting up with three nice crack-heads, Hulk, Pookie (I LOVED Pookie!!) and Scrilla.  But there were many more crazy people and situations that made me chuckle—and they came almost non-stop.  I also appreciated how again and again, little things throughout the film came back during the course of the film.  So, a seemingly innocent occurrence later becomes a HUGE and totally unexpected disaster due to clever writing.

Now my review is NOT saying the film is without problems.  The writing, while clever, is very crude—and it’s a shame as this easily could have been a film you could let your kids see.  I think it’s simply the filmmakers trying to keep up with the raunchy levels we’ve seen recently.  However, a similar picture where one little bad decision leads to similar funny situations is Date Night—and it managed to be a film for all ages and audiences.  The bottom line is that this is NOT a film for you to watch with your kids, your mother or your pastor!  And, if you will easily be offended, by all means watch Date Night  or some other movie instead.  But it is, even with its problems, worth seeing.

Review by Lead Entertainment Writer & Film Critic, Martin Hafer

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