Elizabeth Banks has had an enviable career in comedy, playing a series of cool, confidant and hilarious blondes. Ranging from Lindsay, the hottest camper in Wet Hot American Summer, to Avery Jessup, Jack Donaghy’s slightly terrifying Fox News-worthy wife on 30 Rock, Banks has had her fair share of solid roles to pad her resume in addition to her other work in more serious films like The Hunger Games franchise. But none of her comedic work has really given her that starring vehicle that she rightly deserves; while she’s certainly been the bright spot in many a movie, we’ve never truly had the Elizabeth Banks Hour.
Enter Walk of Shame, the movie that’s trying to fill that void. Banks stars as Meghan Miles, a reporter whose friends are sick of her sitting at home every night and moping. They convince her to go out partying and borrow “something slutty” (a yellow dress that’s perfectly matched to her skin tone and fits her body impeccably, okay), so she decides to go all out and throw caution to the wind when she meets a handsome stranger. Enter James Marsden, the recipient of a one night stand with Miles and the reason for her “walk of shame” — the next morning, she gets a call that network executives are coming to scout her to be an anchor that night, so she must make it to the studio at all costs, particularly because her car gets towed.
It’s certainly a silly concept, if hearing the traffic reporter exclaim “oh my god, there’s a lady in a yellow dress running across the freeway!” was any indication. But with a cast full of very funny people — Tig Notaro, Kevin Nealon, Oliver Hudson and Gillian Jacobs also star — it seems likely that the Steven Brill (Mr. Deeds, Without a Paddle) film has a shot at being more than a chick flick about a night gone wrong. Although, if I had to wager any bets, I would guarantee that casting someone like Marsden for the one night stand means that he’s not just going to stay a fling — it’s love all the way.
It’s not as if we haven’t seen this premise before, either. Our protagonist has a limited amount of time to make it to their destination, side-stepping insane obstacles and risking bodily harm to get there before the clock runs out. It’s the meat of the Hangover franchise, after finding Doug…and the little brother…or whatever the zany fun was in the third movie. But none of those dudes are scaling chain link fences in bandage dresses and stilettos. Banks has shown in the trailer (and her previous work) that she’s gifted with physical comedy; but there will have to be more to the story than a terrible run through Downtown LA to keep audiences captivated.
Romcom Theory: Marsden is the network executive.
Walk of Shame is in theaters April 25th.