Too Many L.A. Stereotypes Turn 'Walk Of Shame' Into Walk Of Lame
Let's start off with the positives, shall we? Elizabeth Banks is a good actress, and we'll watch her films (Zack And Miri Make A Porno, The Hunger Games, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) knowing she usually turns out an entertaining performance. And we hope to see more of Gillian Jacobs(Community) on the big screen in because she's definitely got comedic chops.
But too bad that both of their talents are wasted on Walk Of Shame, a film written and directed by Steven Brill, which opened yesterday. Unfortunately, it's more like a 95-minute walk of lame.
Here's the premise in a nutshell: Banks plays Meghan, a good girl, local news anchor who loses out on a network job and gets dumped by her fiancé on the same day. Her friends Rose (Jacobs) and Denise (Sarah Wright) console her by taking her out to get rip-roaringly drunk and (hopefully) laid. In the middle of the debauchery, Meghan steps outside for air and gets stuck on a fire escape. Gordon (James Marsden) just so happens to be outside at that exact moment and helps the drunk girl off the fire escape.
The two hit it off, one thing leads to another, and they end up at his apartment somewhere in DTLA. When Meghan wakes up from her tequila-induced stupor, she listens to a message from her boss that the network changed their minds; they’ll be onsite to observe her live at 5 p.m. that evening.
Unfortunately, she gets locked out of Gordon's apartment with her phone inside. But that's okay since she has her car keys, and her purse is in her car, right? Wrong. Her car's been towed, thus beginning the longest walk through L.A. ever. Especially in scary, scary downtown L.A.—which is how everyone from Brentwood views it, right? Through the night, she encounters prostitutes, gang bangers, drug dealers and a cab driver who'll give her a lift for a lap dance—and all the while her friends and good guy Gordon are desperately trying to track her down.
Meghan is supposedly a journalist, and while we can relate to not knowing (m)any phone numbers by heart, we'd hopefully be a little more resourceful than calling the guy who just dumped us or mom in Texas. Oh, and she also can't just go with the police officers, who think she's a hooker, because the network execs will pass on anyone with a checkered past, so she just can't get arrested tonight. Sounds reasonable!
Maybe we're being a bit too harsh since we know L.A. geography (and other audiences across the country won&'t care), but since the cell phone solution is off the table, she decides to walk. Now, if you're Downtown, wouldn't be easier to start walking to what looks like her Hollywood TV studios than trying to recover her car from the impound lot by the 10 freeway and mid-Wilshire somewhere without an ID or money? Remember, her purse is in the trunk, supposedly. And we may have misheard, but Normandie, one of the longest streets in L.A. runs north-south, not east-west. But now we're getting nit-picky.
The film does have a few good funny moments, so it's not a complete dud. But those moments are few and far between the frustrating action that unfolds onscreen. Banks and Jacobs make the most of what they're given to work with. Marsden is unfortunately given little to do besides prove that he's one of the non-douchey guys in L.A., trying to help his one-night-stand's friends find her. He looks really good doing it, by the way.
Walk Of Shame is in theaters now and also available on VOD.