For a movie that's supposed to be just another bit of comedic Hollywood froth, Steven Brill's Walk of Shame touches on some fairly heavy issues with regard to perception and judgement. Exploring what it means to wear a tight yellow dress and heels in the early hours of the morning while roaming Downtown L.A. and its vicinity, Walk of Shame also employs that rare filmic technique: Using a wardrobe piece as a talisman.
As the film opens on various bloopers of reporters allowing Freudian slips to come out of their mouths and unexpected slapstick events befalling them, the scene concludes with Meghan Miles (Elizabeth Banks) being attacked by a cat in an animal shelter. As time goes by, her producer, Dan (Willie Garson, reemerged from the grave of Stanford Blatch), encourages her to pursue a national news station that's interested in her candidacy for their open anchor position. The day she's supposed to hear back about it, her fiancé, Kyle (Oliver Hudson, yes, related to Kate), breaks up with her. This wound is salted when she learns that the station has decided to go with another candidate named Wendy Chang (apparently not Asian).
Her best friends, Rose (Gillian Jacobs) and Denise (Sarah Wright), insist on taking her mind off of her problems by forcing her to go out with them to a club. But before they do, Rose gets Meghan to switch outfits with Denise, initially the one wearing the yellow dress that will later be seen as only fit for a prostitute. In certain ways, Walk of Shame is reminiscent of Jenny McCarthy's Dirty Love, another movie about an L.A.-based blonde woman who gets dumped and the hijinks that ensue afterward.
Once the requisite amount of archetypal L.A. douches have hit on her, Meghan decides to flee the club, only to find herself stuck on some sort of weird California fire escape. Her knight in shining armor is, expectedly, played by James Marsden in the role of Gordon, a "post-modern romance writer".../bartender. The two hit it off immediately and end up going to his apartment, with him driving her car. In the early morning hours, Meghan awakens to check her voicemail, only to discover a message from Dan telling her she has a shot at the job again and that the head honchos are coming in that day to watch her newscast.
Panicked and still slightly drunk, Meghan leaves Gordon's apartment only to realize her car has been towed and that she's left her phone behind (incidentally, there are no names on the building's buzzer, so she can't get back in--suspension of disbelief). This is the moment that sends her on a whirlwind journey through the City of Angels in that signature yellow dress that lands her the name The Hoodlum Hooker.
In spite of Walk of Shame having some credibility issues and the expected amount of predictability, there is something undeniably charming about the story, as well as Elizabeth Banks in a lead comedic role. And, considering Steven Brill's past track record (Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds, Without A Paddle and Movie 43), Walk of Shame is definitely a vast improvement. Plus, on the heels of another summer rom-com, The Other Woman, Walk of Shame looks comparatively profound.