Dan's Review: "Trainwreck" showcases Schumer's charm
Jul 17, 2015 01:59PM ● Published by Dan Metcalf
Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in Trainwreck - © 2015 - Universal Pictures
Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use.
Starring Amy Schumer, Tilda Swinton, Bill Hader, John Cena, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, Barkhad Abdi, Mike Birbiglia, Jon Glaser, Vanessa Bayer, Ezra Miller, LeBron James, Method Man, Norman Lloyd, Jim Norton, Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei, Randall Park, Keith Robinson, Dave Attell, Bobby Kelly, Dan Soder, Jim Florentine, Nikki Glaser, Claudia O'Doherty, Bridget Everett, Pete Davidson.
Written by Amy Schumer.
Directed by Judd Apatow.
Those who know me also know I have little love for Judd Apatow’s cinematic body of work. He started out great with The 40-Year Old Virgin, but the rest of his films have slowly deteriorated into a series of vulgar monologues over the past decade. He’s also adopted the annoying habit of casting his wife and daughters in most of the films he’s produced or directed (many times in starring roles), which gets old very fast, especially if you’re easily annoyed by Leslie Mann’s (AKA Mrs. Apatow) nasal tone. Maybe Judd has been reading my reviews, because he apparently got the message and tried something new with this week’s release of Trainwreck, starring someone other than Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and the Apatow family.
The very funny and talented Amy Schumer (who also wrote the screenplay) stars as Amy, a party girl and writer for a trashy men’s magazine in New York. Amy is a promiscuous single woman, who spent her life heeding the advice of her father (Collin Quinn) by avoiding monogamy. She’s assigned to write an article about Dr. Aaron Conners (Bill Hader) who specializes in orthopedic surgery for several high-profile athletes (including LeBron James, Amare’ Stoudemire and Tony Romo, who all appear in the movie as themselves). As luck would have it, Amy falls in love with Dr. Conners, which puts her at odds with her lifelong devotion to drinking and turnstile sexual relationships. Adding to her stress is a family illness, an awkward relationship with her sister (Brie Larson), and the possibility of a promotion from her boss Dianna (Tilda Swinton).
Amy’s destructive behavior and self-doubt eventually creep back into her life, threatening her relationship with the good doctor.
It should be noted that Trainwreck is very raunchy and often obscene with its “Apatow” signature cascade of sexual humor and fair amount of crude language. What sets Trainwreck apart from other Apatow movies is Schumer, who is not only hilarious, but downright likeable. Unlike the Rogen/Hill freestyle method of competing to see who could be more vulgar, Schumer exhibits a flair for evoking vulnerability and charm.
There are some gags that go a little too far, but Trainwreck should prove to be Amy Schumer’s coming out party, and a harbinger of good things to come.