In no way would a rational person confuse Elizabeth Banks for a prostitute, yellow Marc Jacobs dress or not. The plot of Walk of Shame is built on this and other contrivances, like an impounded car, lost cell phone and unhelpful police officers. All this would be OK if Walk of Shame were actually funny. Instead, this poorly written embarrassment plays like a post-sex humiliation reel for its lead character. Banks' Meghan Miles, a local news anchor, sleeps with James Marsden after a night of post-breakup binge drinking, only to slip into the Los Angeles dawn woefully unprepared for the idiots she will soon encounter. Director Steven Brill made other comedies that suck, too, like Movie 43 and Little Nicky, and Walk of Shame won't help his resume. Poor Banks is her usual charming, likeable self, and deserves much better than this nonsense.
Miles gets passed up for a big promotion shortly after an ex-boyfriend moves out, so her friends (Gillian Jacobs and Sarah Wright) take her to a nightclub, where she slams back shots and eventually gets rescued from a fire escape by the bartender, Gordon (Marsden). The pair continues the party at Gordon's apartment, but Meghan decides to sneak away unnoticed rather than rouse her slumbering one-night stand the next morning. Thus begins an hour of unlikely, unfunny pratfalls for Miss Miles. Her car gets towed, her cell phone is missing, a cabbie drops her off outside a strip club, and two cops (Ethan Suplee and Bill Burr) confuse her for a hooker. Miles, you see, is really a good girl, and is only wearing a hoochie dress because her friends made her. Apparently short dress = prostitute in Walk of Shame, and a quick Google search reveals a number of reviews bashing the film's "sexist" and "misogynistic" values.
Putting Banks through the ringer probably seemed like a good idea, but Brill, who also wrote the script, does a poor job executing the comedy. Built on the shaky premise that Miles would rather ask a crack dealer for assistance than ruin her sparkly public image getting someone reliable to take her home, Walk of Shame drags on and on as Miles gets into increasingly contrived situations. Banks/Miles in no way looks, acts or seems like a prostitute. Yet every single person she speaks to assumes she is a hooker. She meets some friendly gangbangers (Larry Gilliard Jr. and Alphonso McAuley) who recognize her as "that bitch from the news" and give her a phone. Instead of calling a friend, a competent police officer or a family member, Banks calls the aforementioned ex-boyfriend, who assumes she is drunk and hangs up. Another running joke in Walk of Shame: No one remembers anyone's phone number. Isn't this movie topical?
Banks does her best to sell the stale material, and she gets a couple of laughs here and there. The pacing is pretty bad overall, and I did a double take when I saw only 45 minutes had passed. The movie wears out its welcome well before its 95 minutes are up, and things do not get any funnier as Miles attempts to rescue her car from the impound lot. The film again brings Miles in contact with a human being acting irrationally, which happens again and again in Walk of Shame. Marsden is not playing some sketchy bar rat either, so it makes zero sense that Miles thought dipping out at 4 a.m. was a better alternative than getting a ride home. I would suspend my disbelief for all of this, but, as I mentioned, Walk of Shame is not funny. The movie is stupid, never truly utilizes its R rating, and completely wastes the talents of its likeable star.
The 2.40:1/1080p/AVC-encoded image is crisp and clean, with bright colors and reasonable depth. Fine-object detail is good, and wide shots are deep and free of compression artifacts. Black levels are acceptable, skin tones appear natural, and I noticed no major digital hiccups.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is reasonably immersive. Club music pounds from the surround speakers and subwoofer, and ambient effects surround the viewer. Dialogue is clear and without distortion, and both effects and dialogue are layered appropriately with the score. English SDH and Spanish subtitles are included.
PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:
This one-disc release is packed in a standard Blu-ray case that is wrapped in a matching slipcover. There are no on-disc extras, but you get both iTunes and UltraViolet digital copies.
An embarrassing misstep for Elizabeth Banks, who is the only redeeming thing in Walk of Shame. Banks' Meghan Miles plays a local news anchor whose catchphrase is "Be Well." After slamming shots and sleeping with James Marsden, Miles treks home through Los Angeles alone. The film's humor mostly consists of Miles getting confused for a hooker, and the contrived narrative is neither funny nor clever. Skip It.
William lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and looks forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.