Trainwreck: A Review.
Amy Schumer, you breath of fresh air. How you were able to pull off one of the freshest rom-coms in a while is awe-inspiring. Really.
Let’s start with the cast. There were many chances taken in terms of casting. From LeBron James actually having a bunch of lines (and parodying the hell out of himself), to lesser-known supporting cast members – one of my faves – Brie Larson (of 2004’s “She Said” fame – Teen Pop at its best) really capturing the essence of the scenes, Schumer, Apatow and the rest of the production crew were able to create cinematic gold. And it didn’t hurt that the comedic genius that is Bill Hader was involved, too. The thing that makes this film much greater as a sum of its parts is that each aspect of the film is good (just good), but when all placed together, the specifics create this big picture that just engrosses the audience in a raw and true but still sweet story.
Onto the plot. Schumer, as always, played to her strengths, relying on her zingers, one-liners, and witty banter to sell the scenes to audience members. The best part was that the film itself felt like the greatest hits version of her own standup routines (check out her YouTube playlist here). And they were quite appreciated. In addition, much of the plot seems believable. In light of this, I should state that according to Schumer herself, much of the plot has been pulled from her own experiences, which makes this film that much better.
Now, the relationships. The relationships are what push the plot forward. Whether it be the shitty boss, the new love, the crazy ex-boyfriend (or whatever he was), the father, or even the strained sister dynamic, each relationship contributed to discovering Schumer’s character. As someone who loves to decipher the relationships that make a person who they are, this film really fulfilled that challenge for me. And the best part was that each relationship was just so different. Borderline-predictable, but still very much enjoyable. It’s important to draw light on Schumer’s own unapologetic stance on redefining what it means to be a young woman in today’s society. She shows two extremes of femininity: the woman who settles down early and builds a family for herself, and the woman who mocks all things traditional, taking complete ownership of her own choices. And the best part is that Schumer portrays neither in a negative light, instead allowing the characters (the main protagonist and her sister) to explore these paths. The characters finally come to an understanding about the other’s lifestyle choices without passing judgment. And it’s this understanding about acceptance that really makes this film stand out in this oversaturated rom-com market.
With this in mind, I find it refreshing how Schumer does not necessarily need to have a man to fulfill her life goals. Even when she runs into more real life issues (things unrelated to romance), Schumer plays to her own strengths to resolve them. This article does a great job at summing up how Schumer champions the independent woman (and, I believe, independent young professional) role.
Keeping in line with Judd Apatow’s canon (great comedies that tend to focus on reality instead of a constructed world), the film barely squeezed in a resolution, which, when finally revealed, immediately ended the whole film. In other words, I was not really surprised. Even if I was hoping for a nicer “bow” to tie everything together (which, btw, if you are a fan of resolutions, NEVER WATCH THIS IS 40 – you will be pissed off at how little Apatow will go to please you).
Overall, I would suggest catching a matinee or weekday evening showing of Trainwreck so that you can avoid the hoards of attendees who awkwardly sip their drinks and don’t find the hilarious parts of the film at all funny. Trust me, not being in the perfect watching environment can really take away from the whole experience. Especially when the audience you happen to be in is predominantly made up of couples and married folk who are afraid to laugh out loud at many of Schumer’s hilarious sex jokes.