Directed by Judd Apatow.
Starring Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Colin Quinn, Brie Larson, Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, John Cena, Marissa Tomei, LeBron James and Daniel Radcliffe.
Having thought that monogamy was never possible, a commitment-phobic career woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy.
Trainwreck may not be a perfect film or even director Judd Apatow’s best work, but the crass and explicitly sexual romantic comedy has positioned its star (also performing double duty as the writer) Amy Schumer for a breakthrough presence in mainstream comedy.
Schumer’s comedic skills and voice shine through so strong it is reminiscent to watching Bridesmaids for the first time and pinpointing the eventual starpower of Melissa McCarthy. Portraying a carefree sex addicted whore with little to no concern for anyone in life but her father (whom has drilled into her head that monogamy isn’t realistic), there is a crude and non-politically correct nature to her character, and jokes that for the most part are all zingers.
That’s not to say Bill Hader (an equally hilarious actor that has been deserving of a major role for quite some time) is no slouch either; the two have fantastic chemistry together as polar opposites. Clearly, opposites attracting is nothing new for the genre, but Trainwreck does mix with the formula by depicting men as the ones thirsting for a serious relationship rather than one night stands and as alcoholic pot smokers. For once it’s the women engaging in all sorts of inappropriate activities, making for a refreshing spin on comedy in general. Apatow doesn’t just allow Schumer to have fun, he’s also directed a film spearheaded by a woman which is sadly a rare trend.
Even the supporting cast of Trainwreck delivers loads of laughs, whether it is from actual actors, celebrity cameos, or celebrities playing characters. WWE poster-boy John Cena absolutely crushes his brief stint in the first act, playing an overly macho dude with a good spirit, but just doesn’t realize he actually might be gay. It mostly works due to a not being a running gag that lasts throughout the entire film considering he makes his exit fairly early, but he is quite the scene stealer and surprisingly hilarious.
Arguably the greatest NBA player of all time LeBron James is also here as a friend to Hader (he spends lots of time with professional athletes since he is a surgeon) and even he shockingly doesn’t feel out-of-place. He essentially plays the buddy concerned about how the relationship is progressing and is highly supportive, although a complete cheap-ass with his money.
If it isn’t quite obvious, the cast to Trainwreck is delicious, but the one thing pulling all the parts together into a whole is Schumer’s script. For a raunchy comedy it offers up a hefty amount of complexity to her starring role character (coincidentally named Amy) as a person teetering on hitting rock-bottom, and extremely fearful of failing at a serious relationship thanks to the programming of her father.
That’s also another aspect Trainwreck deserves applaud for; its ability to showcase the aftereffects of a dysfunctional childhood without resorting to a handful of unnecessary flashbacks. Amy is not a very likable person in this movie despite being outlandishly hilarious, but the parallels between her and her father come together in a way that illustrates we as human beings do often absorb qualities of our personality from our parents. Even though the mother is never once on-screen, I’m assuming she was a somewhat better person considering that Amy’s sister is clearly in a better position in life complete with a family, and probably took after her mother.
The script also avoids quite a few cliché traps; Amy has a passionate disdain for sports, and seeing as her love interest deals with professional athletes on a consistent basis, you begin dreading countless scenes of arguing regarding the importance of sports, but it never comes. The subplot is handled in a very restrained manner giving the vibe that while Amy doesn’t understand sports, she isn’t going to sit there and pout over an interest that the man she’s falling in love with has.
Like all of Apatow’s comedies, Trainwreck is about everyday people that feel real struggling with problems real people face. Aside from a bit of an over-exaggerated climax, it is simply a lot of dialogue that is going to resonate with audiences around the world.
As previously mentioned, Trainwreck isn’t a perfect movie though, it’s just a refreshing one that works despite the complete predictability of its nature. That predictability stems from simply being a romantic comedy, but it’s always a little disappointing watching a movie with a blatantly telegraphed ending. It is also over two hours and does honestly suffer from a few pacing problems at various sections.
With that in mind, Trainwreck may not be the funniest movie of the year, but that may not matter when you mitigate a tired and boring genre with a tight script that speaks to people, great acting featuring familiar faces, and a bit of gender role-reversal. It’s also wonderful seeing Amy Schumer and Bill Hader given the starring roles they’ve both deserved for years.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. Follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook