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Walk of Shame

By ROBERT ABELE Los Angeles Times

This article was published May 9, 2014 at 3:28 a.m.

Seemingly half of the comedy Walk of Shame is shots of Elizabeth Banks running in strappy high heels and a skin-hugging canary-yellow dress, filmed against Los Angeles' more dreary urban backdrops.

Then again, as idea-deficient and funny-free as writer/director Steven Brill's stab at a female Hangover is, you need something to pop on screen.

Banks' put-upon heroine is Meghan Miles, an uptight news anchor whose sorrow-drowning girls' night out turns into a one-night stand with James Marsden's kind bartender. When an urgent appointment that could change her life hastens a careless moonlit escape, the film turns into a one-note slog -- minus cellphone, technology, charity and character smarts (for screenwriting purposes) -- through a nonwhite L.A. only a reactionary could find eccentric and amusing.

Even without the queasy stereotypes, Walk of Shame feels perfunctorily assembled, its obstacles straining even screwball logic. Banks tries to put together an appealing performance from what amounts to a lot of physicality and reacting, mainly to a slew of hooker references, but she's defeated by the movie around her. In that respect, one could look at Walk of Shame as an unintended nightmare scenario for women in Hollywood, and the persistent humiliation required just to get noticed.

MovieStyle on 05/09/2014

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