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’s 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 local 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 racial stereotypes, “Walk of Shame” feels perfunctorily assembled, its obstacles straining even screwball logic. Banks valiantly tries to cobble together an appealing performance from what amounts to a lot of physicality and reacting, mainly to a slew of hooker references, but she’s roundly 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.
“Walk of Shame"
Mpaa rating: R for language and some sexual content
Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes
Playing: In wide release