Move over Seth Rogen – Amy Schumer (from Comedy Central’s Inside Amy) has taken the reins as Judd Apatow’s (40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up) new muse to fill his quota for weed smoking underachievers.
Trainwreck begins with Amy and her sister being lectured by their less-than-faithful father (Colin Quinn) that monogamy isn’t realistic. Fast forward 23 years and we see a grown up Amy living a life of one night stands, partying, excessive drinking, and casual drug use; while maintaining a job as a writer for a trashy men’s magazine.
Her sister Kim (Brie Larson) managed to curtail adopting her father’s attitudes and disagrees with Amy’s similarities to their father – a contrast we see when they send him to an Aged Care Facility. Amy is assigned to write an article on the successful and charming sports doctor Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), where Amy develops feelings she doesn’t quite understand.
This film is built on many firsts: including Schumer writing and starring in her first feature film, but also Apatow for the first time directing a script he did not scribe. It is still just as raunchy as any of Apatow’s previous films however, and perhaps even surpasses it as a female lead expresses the often-taboo topic of female sexuality. It takes a refreshing look at female characters in a more realistic, unabashed light. Much like Joss Whedon, Apatow has the capacity to direct real female characters instead of the typical eye candy or arm dressing found in too many of today’s blockbusters.
Schumer and her co-star Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live, Hot Rod, Inside Out) have undeniable chemistry together and both, being accomplished comedians, are more than willing to make an audience laugh. They were not the strongest element of the film however, where instead the cameos carried much of the humour, including Daniel Radcliffe, Marissa Tomei, and sporting superstars John Cena and LeBron James. James is a particular standout as show stealer of the movie, proving he is an MVP (most valuable player) both on and off the court. Tilda Swinton absolutely eats the scenery as Amy’s overbearing and insensitive boss whom you will love to hate.
While Trainwreck offers nothing overly ground-breaking by romantic comedy standards, don’t let that dissuade you. If you’re looking for a suitable movie to take a date, it’s this one.
Reviewed by Adam Gerard
Rating out of 10: 7