Hey folks, I’m back! I’ve been quite sporadic about my reviews this past summer, so sorry for the lack of content as of recently on the site (with the exception of me crying about my feelings in a rather unusual but well done post recently). But I decided to return to the movies this weekend because a film that I’d been looking forward to for quite sometime was finally being released. Trainwreck, the new film from director Judd Apatow and writer-star Amy Schumer, front and center. I’ve been a huge fan of Schumer’s stand up (as well as her equally brilliant Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer) for quite some time now, so when news broke that Apatow would be directing a new film based on a screenplay by Schumer, anticipation grew for Apatow’s next feature, who as of recently has underwhelmed with his past couple of films (I never saw This is 40, but was underwhelmed by Funny People). Reviews from out of this year’s SXSW have been quite positive, and critics still continue to agree that a star has been born in Amy Schumer, a pretty accurate statement, at least from this critic. Here’s my review of Trainwreck.
Schumer plays a 30-something writer for a gossip magazine in New York City. Amy is, well, a bit of a trainwreck. She doesn’t enjoy commitment in terms of her relationships, always having one night stands, never calling back, etc. She learned to avoid commitment from her father at a young age, played by Colin Quinn. Her younger sister decided to settle down early, while Amy is still partying and having a good time. After Amy is assigned to cover a sports doctor, played by Bill Hader, her philosophy and way off life is turned upside down, when she starts to realize that she’s falling for him. A pretty basic premise, but it’s easily the raunchiest and funniest romantic comedy that I’ve seen in quite some time.
Schumer’s comedic speciality has always been raunchy but clever perspectives on sex, the nature of relationships, and so forth. She brings a lot of what folks will know from both her stand up and her show in this film, but this is by know means a direct adaptation of any sketch she’s done on her television show. The only similarity between this film and her show is that its Schumer’s voice throughout the film, and for that reason, Trainwreck doesn’t fall into the pitfalls that most romantic comedies like these typically do. Thanks Schumer’s witty (and Oscar-worthy?) script, along with her fantastic lead-acting debut, as well as Apatow’s comedic direction, help make Trainwreck the R-rated comedy hit that we’ve all been looking for all summer.
Other than Schumer and Hader in the film, who are both fantastic and have excellent chemistry together, there are tons of actors/comedians that make appearances in the film. Tilda Swinton has a lot of fun playing Amy’s sadistic boss, Colin Quinn as I mentioned earlier has some terrific lines as Amy’s ailing father, Brie Larson plays Amy’s sister, and the two share some of the more emotional scenes in the film. Even LeBron James is in the film, but not as a cameo, but as a supporting character, playing himself. He’s the best friend to Bill Hader’s character, and James is actually quite good in the role. He has some pretty solid comedic chops, and delivers some pretty funny lines throughout the time he’s on-screen.
Ironically, what really surprised me with this film was Schumer as an actress. I never doubted her comedic abilities for one second going into and during the film, but there are some moments where Schumer has to act, and be emotional, particularly many of the scenes featuring her sister and her father, who are the most important people in Amy’s life throughout the film. She was fantastic in the film for that, and much more than just a standard romantic comedy lead. Because at the heart of the film, it is your by the books romantic comedy, but because of the performances, the talent behind the scenes with Apatow and Schumer, Trainwreck works wonders, and is easily one of the best films of 2015.
Sure, the film does have its flaws, as Judd Apatow continues to have trouble making short films (the film clocks in at a little over two hours). The film never dragged for me, but I do admit that there could have been a few minutes that should’ve been trimmed. But other than that, I highly recommend that you go and check out Trainwreck when you get the chance. Even if the film is labeled as a romantic comedy, its one of the funniest of its genre that I’ve seen in recent memory, and its also raunchy as hell. I saw the film by myself and was laughing my ass off the whole time throughout. Do yourself a favor and go see this film.