Review: Walk of Shame (2014)


Director: Steven Brill | 95 minutes | comedy | Actors: Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, Gillian Jacobs, Sarah Wright, Ethan Suplee, Bil Burr, Ken Davitian, Lawrence Gilliard Jr, Alphonso McAuley, Da’Vone McDonald, Eric Etebari, Oliver Hudson

In “Walk of Shame”, we follow news anchor Meghan Miles (Elizabeth Banks), an ambitious woman who does everything by the book. Despite her good nature, her boyfriend leaves her for another woman and she misses a big promotion. Together with two friends, Meghan drinks her worries away in a club. There she meets the charming Gordon (James Marsden) and that night she ends up in bed with him. The next morning she is told that she still has a chance to win the promotion and Meghan has to appear in the studio fresh and fruity very quickly. But she accidentally locks herself out without a phone, money or ID. If her car is also towed, there is nothing else for Meghan to walk home in her sexy yellow dress. But that seems a lot more difficult than expected.

Not everyone will be familiar with the term walk of shame. When someone walks home after a one night stand in the middle of the night or early in the morning in the same clothes as the night before, this is called the walk of shame. And that’s exactly what happens to Meghan Miles in the movie. Even though she ends up in the most unlikely version of it. Everything goes wrong and soon the police are after her and she is suspected of, among other things, drug trafficking and prostitution.

The entire film covers Meghan’s journey trying to get to the studio. A risk because the story can easily be repeated. That also happens a few times because Meghan is constantly mistaken for all kinds of different types of women. Stereotypical women, that is. The whore, the temptress and the wicked witch. And all because she walks in a tight dress in the slum of Los Angeles. It’s as if the director wanted to say it’s all Meghan’s own fault. So quite sexist. But towards the end the film tries to say again that you shouldn’t attract anything from others and a walk of shame is nothing to be ashamed of. This leaves you confused as a viewer.

Fortunately, the lead role is played by the talented Elizabeth Banks who has shown her comedic timing several times in films like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and “The Hunger Games” and series like “Scrubs” and “30 Rock”. Banks saves the film and makes sure it doesn’t become a complete flop. You sympathize with her portrayal of Meghan and hope that she will get out of trouble as soon as possible. In the supporting roles we see actors such as James Marsden and Gillian Jacobs doing their standard trick and they add little. “Walk of Shame” is a comedy but mostly very bland. The opening scene in which all kinds of newsreaders commit blunders immediately misses the point. The funniest scenes are those between Meghan and some drug dealers that are very different from what you initially expect.

“Walk of Shame” does not seem to be able to choose what message it wants to convey. The messy scenario oscillates between sexism and feminism. The sparkling Elizabeth Banks deserves a much better comedy with her talent. Let’s hope it arrives as soon as possible.

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