Walk Of Shame (2014) Review

Walk_of_Shame_posterThis lightweight comedy could alternately be called “Adventures In Slutshaming” as local News Anchor Meghan Miles struggles to get home when a drunken one night stand leaves her stranded without her car, money or a phone in Los Angeles the day before her big opportunity to land a Network Anchor position.

Elizabeth Banks scatterguns her way gamely through this escalating comedy of errors as the hapless reporter whose day keeps going from bad to worse thanks largely to the slutty outfit chosen by her friends to help her get over a recent break-up. After being rescued from being stuck of a fire escape, she spends the night with charming part-time bartender Gordon (James Marsden) but when she leaves only to see her car being towed, it kicks off a series of whacky adventures and close calls as she travels by foot across the hostile urban neighbourhoods of downtown LA.

How much you enjoy the film will largely depend on how well you take to Banks’ plucky if luckless heroine. Although James Marsden shares equal billing with Banks, he’s absent for the majority of the movie which chronicles a series of encounters of varying hilarity. There’s nothing in here that falls outside Banks’ comfort zone and it shies away from any real gross-out territory, preferring to aim for a slightly ribald situation comedy vibe. Although Banks manages to support the film throughout its running time, it perks up noticeably when she’s got company to bounce off. If this had been released in the early nineties, it would probably have been a smash hit, but in today’s terms, it feels quite tame.

There’s a general subtext about how judgemental people can be and how quick they are to turn their back on someone in need because of those judgements, including all the institutions you’d expect to come to your assistance in times of need. The film’s best moments come when she finds herself inadvertently hanging out in a crack house with drug dealers Scrilla (Larry Gilliard, Jr), Pookie (Alphonso McAuley) and Hulk (Da’Vone McDonald).

Writer/ Director Steven Brill keeps things moving at a brisk pace, treading a fine line between provocative comedy and offensive stereotypes and misogyny. If you want to be offended by this film, you’ll easily find something to bridle at, whatever your particular hot button preference is. But if you’re looking for an undemanding comedy with a game cast and some safely near the knuckle set pieces then you could do a lot worse.