While looking at Judd Apatow’s filmography, you will notice that he has never directed a movie he hasn’t also written. That is, until TRAINWRECK, written by the hilarious and enormously talented Amy Schumer. If that doesn’t speak to the quality of the script, I don’t know what else does. Schumer, best known for her work in stand-up comedy and, more recently, in her brazen, thought-provoking comedy series INSIDE AMY SCHUMER, is at her best when she is speaking candidly about the world around her. She has the uncanny ability to use humor to highlight important social issues, such as gender double standards, rape culture, and the ridiculous Hollywood body image.
So it’s no surprise that Schumer wouldn’t make your average rom-com. Generally speaking, the most amount of flaws we get from the female character in a romantic comedy is adorkable awkwardness/quirkiness or :sigh: going from ugly duckling to beautiful swan. But in this film, we have a real woman. And no, I’m not talking about appearance-wise. While Amy Schumer may like to make jokes about her own appearance (mostly to comment on the ridiculous Hollywood body image), her performance in TRAINWRECK was as beautiful on the outside as it was on the inside. Don’t get me wrong, I love pretty much all romantic comedies but it is nice to finally see less-than-perfect female character work out serious issues on-screen… you know, the ones that don’t involve makeovers or tying down the manic pixie dream girl.
Amy Townsend (Schumer) is a thirty-something New Yorker with a commitment problem. As a child, her father (Colin Quinn) engrained in her and her sister (Brie Larson) the principle, “monogamy isn’t realistic”. Amy still lives by that motto today… plus some. She drinks, she smokes weed, and she has one-night-stands. And she makes no apologies for it. Even when her sorta boyfriend (John Cena) calls her out on her behavior, Amy is more phased by him saying she isn’t nice than she is his assessments of her drinking/sleeping around. However, all of his changes when Amy’s editor (Tilda Swinton) assigns her to write an article on prominent sports surgeon Aaron Conners (Bill Hader). The two immediately hit it off and Amy is left wondering whether her “trainwreck” lifestyle is what she really wants.
There is something I am a little torn about in TRAINWRECK, though. Look away if you think you will really be that shocked by what I am about to tell you in regards to the ending of the film. Let’s be real, the happy ending lover in me loves that Amy finds the man that makes her want to settle down. And that final dance scene is everything I love in a movie… heart, humor and Eve’s “Tambourine” song. But how interesting would it have been if this romantic comedy didn’t have a happy ending after all? What if Amy had thrown the ideas of conventionality out the window and decided to keep doing her own thing? Of course, if that had happened I would probably be dedicating this paragraph to how much I hated the non-happy ending, but it was just a thought. If anyone would have the balls to end a movie like that, it would be Amy Schumer and it is something I would be interested to see, if only for a minute.
Both behind the scenes and in front of the camera, Schumer has again proved that her voice, and point-of-view, is here for the long-haul, and will transcend whatever medium she so chooses. If my laughing 5+ minutes after many lines in the movie is any indication, you will leave TRAINWRECK with as big a grin as Vanessa Bayer. Oh yeah, and maybe gasping that that *was* Tilda Swinton in yet another unrecognizable role.
My Review: B+/A-