The Coffee Table was watched as part of Fantastic Fest 2023!
Can a piece of furniture ruin a marriage? Ruin a family? Of course it can. But is it really the tables fault? Probably not.
You see, for Jesús (David Pareja) and his wife (Estefanía de los Santos). See, she just had their baby. And they have been redecorating their apartment. But according to Jesús, she has decided everything. All the decorations. When they should have a kid. What to do with their free time. Even their son’s name, is a name that he despises. So they have had their arguments. For whatever reason though, she said in their redecorating, that Jesús can pick a new coffee table for their apartment.
So what does he do? Well, he listens to a salesman about a very exotic and recently on sale table. It is glass on top, unbreakable! And the legs are just two naked ladies, plastered in gold. It is absolutely gaudy, and his wife doesn’t like it, but he takes it anyways due to pride.
Now he just has to put it together. But it is missing a screw. These dang Scandinavian designed furniture, and it doesn’t even have all the parts!
It turns out, the missing screw is just the first and smallest of problems. Literally and metaphorically. Things get bad, and get bad quick. The coffee table was a bad choice.
As you can see, the wife was right to judge her husband.
The Coffee Table, if I had to say anything, is a hard film to recommend. It classifies itself as a dark comedy. And the DARK element of that is super true. I am used to dark comedies dealing with death, and things spiraling out of control. And usually I can find humor in this as well. But holy shit, this one went really dark, really fast. I wasn’t sure where the comedy part was hiding?
I mean, it is awkward still. There is an uneasy chuckle in a few scenes, and the beginning scene is played out for laughs. I was still downright horrified at the events and stayed horrified for the rest of the film, watching as things continued. The conversations were unbearably uncomfortable. I almost turned it off early on, after a scene. I didn’t think I could handle much more of the film. At the same time, I figured the impacts of the scene would move on and we’d see the spiral. But it actually never really moves on. It lingers and it makes you feel and deal with the events.
The ending is a bit predictable. You can tell where things will end up, and it does not disappoint.
The Coffee Table is not for everybody. Hell, it isn’t for most people. But it is for people who want an experience about why not all relationships can just wash away their problems.