Walk of Shame, written and directed by Steven Brill of Movie 43 infamy, starring Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden and a striking yellow dress is the latest female-led situation comedy attempting to resonate with audiences. Banks plays Meghan Miles, an uptight yet perky news anchor who, following a slew of bad news, parties like its 1999 right into the bed of attractive bartender/writer James Marsden. Come morning, Meghan then must make the ‘walk of shame’ in an attempt to get back to her car so she can get to work at the local news station. What happens next can only be described as Adventures in Babysitting for the pseudo-lobotomised generation. Sure, Banks is likeable enough, she has enough comic prowess to hold my attention, and there are a few jokes that really zing… however, it simply isn’t funny or clever enough. Or even one of the above. If you are going to rely on a heavily questionable narrative that rides the wave of implausibility for the entire 94 minutes then the jokes need to be heaped on and they need to hit the mark. If these jokes aren’t there as a pillar to hold the whole film together, then the narrative needs to be solid, including a lead character for whom you can root. Walk of Shame wasn’t nearly funny enough for us to ignore the pulsating rage at the stupidity of Bank’s character or the sheer lack of humanity from any of the supporting characters. As an aside, if you don’t want to burn that dress by the end of the film then you are a better person than me.
All in all, Walk of Shame just doesn’t make the grade as a comedy, or as anything else either. Tonally it felt confused, jumping from outright misogyny and then to bar-burning feminism, which made it difficult to see at which market this is really aimed. I want to call this film Walk of Same, as it feels as tired as it does flat, but then I thought that Steven Brill’s A Series of Unfortunately Written Events seemed more fitting.