Elizabeth Banks may talk a walk of shame after a one night stand in Walk of Shame, but she might have the same feeling when audiences leave the theater watching her latest. Banks is a Los Angeles news anchor who is up for a job with the network. Upon learning she didn’t get the job, she is convinced by her friends to abandon her straight-laced nature and party like a rock star. The fact that her fiance has moved out of their home doesn't hurt their efforts to get her to throw back (quite) a few.
The issue, and the crux of the comedy, is that after hooking up with James Marsden, she awakes in the middle of the night with one heck of a hangover -- and a voicemail from her producer saying that she is still up for the job. The network still wants her, and she just needs to wow them during her next evening broadcast.
Through a series of silly moments -- teased in the Walk of Shame trailer -- Banks exits Marsden’s apartment and wants to get home, cleaned up and sobered up for her big day. The only issue, her car is towed and she left her purse and her phone in Marsden's home. Staring at the apartment building directory, she realizes she doesn’t know his name.
And she’s off to battle the rough and tumble streets of Los Angeles trying desperately to get home. She gets into all sorts of situations, all of course wearing the yellow micro mini skirt from her big night out that has police thinking she’s a hooker. Hoodlums even believe she is one too and they want her to get away from them before she attracts the aforementioned cops and they discover what they’re doing is illegal.
All in all, Walk of Shame is a one-note joke movie that manages to stretch it out over 90 minutes. It tries to get in a few “believe in yourself” and “don’t judge a book by its cover” messages while she traverses the City of Angels’ streets.
Banks is brilliant and does the best she can with Steven Brill’s script (he also directed). She is a true comic tour de force and there is nothing she won’t do with this flimsy premise to try to get a laugh -- and she does get a few. But, the film often exploits stereotypes of male/female relationships, race and even what a modern woman is to get those chuckles.
Our Walk of Shame review can recommend this film for fans of Banks -- but that is it. She commands every inch of the screen. But even the greatest comics in the world need a solid script in order to have a funny film work. And unfortunately Banks does not have it with Walk of Shame.
Want to see Banks shine? See her powerful performance when you watch Catching Fire online.