Before a couple weeks ago, I hardly had a clue who Amy Schumer was. I knew that she had a show on Comedy Central, but aside from that, I had no experience with her comedic style. After watching her episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, I grew more excited at the prospect of her working with Judd Apatow. With Trainwreck, Schumer bursts onto the big screen not only as a star, but as a writer as well; and whether you like her or not, she’s gonna be here to stay.
Amy, a lifelong commitment-phobe, bounces from guy to guy and smokes and drinks her way through her life as a writer for a men’s magazine. She does not care to commit, which is readily apparent when she has someone like Steven (John Cena in a hysterical role), but also maintains several other guys on the side. Schumer performs admirably for her first time headlining a film, though it might be because she wrote the screenplay which allows her to play to her abilities. She does a great job playing the rude, uncaring, borderline-alcoholic who lives her life by her father’s mantra of “Monogamy is unrealistic.” At times she is fun, sassy, and utterly hilarious. We know we shouldn’t put all our chips on her to come out on top, but part of us wants her to redeem herself. Yet, there are moments where she is so awful that it comes off as unrealistic for the movie she has written. Nevertheless, Schumer creates humor in nearly every scene and the result is some gut-busting laughter.
Her lifestyle is completely shattered when she meets Aaron, a sports doctor played by Bill Hader, and the two develop chemistry. Hader, who generally takes the comedic spotlight, lets Schumer take the lead while delivering a much more sensitive and tender role that still allows him to show off his talents. He is the good guy who shows up but has to contend with someone who might not be ready for what he has to offer, so he spends his time getting advice from none other than LeBron James. These scenes don’t entirely have a major impact on the course of the film, and probably serve more of a “look who we can get to act,” type scenario, but they do have some good moments together.
Much like any Apatow film, there is his inability to create a fluid pace, though you might be able to chalk this one up to Schumer’s debut screenplay in which she includes a number of superfluous side-plots that don’t do much other than offer a few laughs, and emotions. Apatow’s other films like This is 40, Funny People, and Knocked Up run out of steam well before they reach their over-2-hour run times, resulting in films that lurch to the end instead of naturally coming to a close. Trainwreck on the other hand, starts off rather tedious, launches into high gear with constant extended-cameos from Ezra Miller, Tilda Swinton, plus a few others, and then it oddly turns into a generic romantic-comedy in the last 30 minutes that still manages to feel like it’s overstayed its welcome. This tonal shift wouldn’t be an issue if the film hadn’t already been set up as something like an anti-rom-com, but it is still done tastefully enough that it is easily forgiven.
But, in the end, if you can sign onto the politically incorrect, self-depricating, and completely inappropriate humor, Trainwreck will not only make you laugh, it will introduce you to a star on the rise. Amy Schumer will not be going anywhere, so you better get used to her. Trainwreck isn’t nearly what its title implies–jumping a few rails here and there–but it is definitely one of the funniest movies you’ll see all year.