The Coffee Table Review

When a couple moves in together there are plenty of things they have to agree on and one of the big ones is the furniture they will have. This is the dilemma we are witnessing at the beginning of The Coffee Table. The couple Jesus and Maria, played brilliantly by David Pareja and Estefanía de los Santos, are seen discussing an interesting-looking coffee table that Jesus wants to buy. The salesman, played by Eduardo Antuna, is trying his best to make the sale while Maria is destroying any hope that the sale will be made. The pitch the salesman gives them is that “the coffee table will change your life” and that line in itself foreshadows the situation that literally changes the lives of the couple. 

Let’s talk about the table for a minute. If you can, picture two naked golden women kneeling with their backs arched and their hands behind their heads so their elbows are pointing to the sky. The glass for the table rests on their elbows and according to the salesmen, the glass is unbreakable. This is the table Jesus wants for the house after stating that Maria has chosen everything in their relationship. From the wedding clothes he and his mom wore to the name of their child, Jesus has had no vote in anything and this is the one thing he wants. Nevertheless, the table is brrought and Jesus has his new coffee table. 

Courtesy of Cinephobia Releasing

The issues with the table begin once he brings it to their apartment and has to carry it up the stairs to their unit. In the hallway, we are introduced to their neighbors, a mother, played by Cristina Dilla, and her 13-year-old daughter Ruth, creepily played by Gala Flores. It seems that Ruth has a crush on Jesus and has somehow mistaken his help with one of her school projects for Jesus being attracted to her. The conversation between the two is funny and cringe at the same time as Ruth states what Jesus can do with her once he leaves his wife. Jesus politely tries to correct the girl and her infatuation with Jesus is one of the catalysts that unfold in the final act. 

When building the tablet, Jesus notices that a piece is missing and calls the store to have them send over the missing piece. This is the one moment in the film where he is in charge and demanding. As Maria sits near him with their baby it looks like she has not seen this side of him before. The salesman tells Jesus he will come over with the part as soon as he can. At this point, Maria leaves the house to get food for the dinner they are having with Jesus’s brother and his girlfriend.

It is a little hard to not give away too much of the plot of The Coffee Table without spoiling the movie. As new parents, Jesus and Maria are at a stage where they are sleep deprived, always on edge with each other, and getting this new table does nothing to improve their situation. Throughout the movie, they try little things to ease their tension but it either backfires or the hints are not taken by the other partner. The incident that happens with the table pushes our character to the brink. What happens is something that will make those in the audience think to themselves what would they do in this situation? As much as we think we know better than the characters on the screen, we would not know if our minds will have us make better choices than them.

Courtesy of Cinephobia Releasing

The Coffee Table is described as a “Dark Comedy” and I think you will find yourself nervously laughing while watching the movie. The tension that builds throughout the movie will definitely keep you on edge and maybe laugh at things you feel you should not laugh at. In terms of dark, this movie shows you a line and then crosses it by making the situation worse than you would expect. The Coffee Table is so dark and gut-wrenching that it has to be seen to be understood. 

Final Thoughts: The Coffee Table shows us how far someone will go to keep a secret and the guilt that slowly eats them up from the inside. The situation in the movie keeps you on the edge of your seat to see what will happen next. The character of Jesus keeps digging himself in a hole and he pulls the audience in with him. By the time the final act comes around the audience is heavily attached and does not know which way the story will go. This is a horror movie that messes with your mind more than it tries to scare you. 

Kid-Friendly: This movie would be appropriate for older kids 16 and up. The storyline is a bit morbid and might give younger kids nightmares. There is a lot of dialogue in the movie and a slow build-up to the final act. It is not kid-friendly by any means.

Violence: While we do not see the incident that happens, by seeing images and flashes of the aftermath our minds can imagine the worst. Some of the conversations between Jesus and Maria tiptoes the line of verbal abuse. 

THE COFFEE TABLE follows Jesus and Maria, a couple going through a difficult time in their relationship. Nevertheless, they have just become parents. To shape their new life, they decide to buy a new coffee table. A decision that will change their existence.

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