Movie Review: Trainwreck

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A fun-loving party girl is sent to interview a kind, stable doctor for her magazine and finds herself questioning her lifestyle as she falls for him.

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Judd Apatow, 2015

Amy (Amy Schumer) loves her life. She’s got a good job writing for a men’s magazine, she parties every night, and she gets as much sex with hot guys as she wants. She has a close relationship with her father Gordon (Colin Quinn), a man whose coarse personality and adultery pushed away Amy’s sister Kim (Brie Larson). Amy’s uncomfortable with Kim’s decision to get married to a man with a son and have a baby. One day Amy’s boss Dianna (Tilda Swinton) decides her hatred of sports will be the perfect angle from which to write an article on sports doctor Aaron Connors (Bill Hader). There’s an instant attraction between Amy and Aaron, and goes home with him. And then he calls her the next day. His genuine interest in her throws her world out of whack, and she begins to question what’s more important to her: her lifestyle, or Aaron.

trainwreck

Given the rise in popularity of Amy Schumer’s boundary-pushing comedy over the last year, it’s hardly surprising that she got her own movie. What is surprising is how conservative this movie ultimately proves to be. Granted, there’s something subversive in even having a big romcom that stars Schumer in the lead, given that she isn’t conventionally attractive by Hollywood standards (Bill Hader isn’t either, but plenty of movies have cast less attractive men with gorgeous love interests before). Essentially, this movie is ultimately a romcom played straight, except with the genders of the roles reversed. A commitment-phobic party girl falls for a nice, normal guy, learns some life lessons, and makes a big gesture to win him over. Schumer’s script follows every beat to a tee, and it flows nicely, with plenty of big laughs. She allows Amy to be a genuinely complex character, giving her moments of cruelty and ignorance as well as showing her vulnerability. The family dynamic she created is especially interesting, and played beautifully by the three actors involved.

The leads are charismatic and talented, with Schumer taking the laugh-out-loud moments while Bill Hader provides some more subtle comedy very nicely. Their chemistry is terrific. The movie is packed with an excellent supporting cast, from an unrecognisable Tilda Swinton to an unexpectedly hilarious LeBron James as Aaron’s sassy best friend. It’s a Judd Apatow movie, so it is, of course, too long. Scenes are allowed to run long past the point when the joke is funny, which sometimes allows actors to ad lib something brilliant, but more often than not leaves the audience hanging in awkward silence until the next scene starts. There are a couple of forced, unnecessary scenes that aren’t funny, as well. These scenes only stand out because overall the movie is so funny, and the cast is so talented that when the movie stalls it feels wrong. It’s a terrific modern romantic comedy, and Amy Schumer is a star well worth watching.

Trainwreck on IMDb

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