Trainwreck, written and starring arguably the comedian of the year Amy Schumer, definitely defied the usual roles seen in the majority of Comedies.
In the movie, Amy stars as a woman who drinks, sleeps around and behaves however she sees fit. A role that we usually see males portray (Superbad, Knocked Up, etc.) is, for the most part, hilariously portrayed by Schumer.
The first scene of the film shows Amy’s father (Colin Quinn) getting Amy and her sister (Brie Larson) to repeat “monogamy is not realistic,” after explaining why he was getting a divorce from their mother. This mantra sticks with Amy as she grows up to enjoy sleeping around, but steers far away from any sort of commitment with any of her flings (this includes never spending the whole night with them). Amy does, however, somewhat break these rules when it comes to Steven (John Cena), not quite her boyfriend, but they do go on regular movie dates.
With Steven, we get some of the funniest moments of the film. John Cena, a professional wrestler, embodies a complete gym nut and overly sensitive guy who just wants Amy to be his “Crossfit Queen.” One of the funniest lines of the movie is given to Cena, when he tells Amy that he wants to have “3 boys [with her]…and 2…more boys. A whole soccer team of boys!”
Spoiler: Eventually, he ends things with Amy when he finds out she is sleeping around and therefore has to put a kibosh on his Crossfit dreams with her.
In the film, Amy plays a magazine writer, who works at an over-the-top magazine that writes such articles as “You’re Not Gay, She’s just that Boring.” In her work setting are also some of the best scenes of the movie. Actor Randall Park, who played Kim Jong-Un in The Interview, was notably a great choice for the film and delivered several laugh-out-loud lines as one of Amy’s co-workers.
Amy is given the task of writing an article on sports doctor, Aaron Connors (Bill Hader), which is where Amy starts to realize commitment might not be such a bad thing.
The scenes revolving around Amy and Aaron (Hader) were surprisingly more focused on developing a romantic plotline. Although there were no doubt funny moments, it seems the scenes that featured the two had to progress the storyline, while the secondary character interactions were more the basis of comedy for the film.
A clever addition to the movie was another sports star, NBA player Lebron James, as both Dr. Aaron Connors’ patient and penny-pitching best friend. The on-going joke with James is that he is strict with his finances. This is showcased when he and Aaron (Hader) are having lunch and James is adamant that they split the check. However, when Aaron finally agrees, James realizes he “forgot his wallet in the car.”
Another scene that stuck out from the movie, also featuring Lebron, was when he and Dr. Connors are playing one-on-one basketball, while talking about the doctor’s relationship with Amy. Desperately trying to relate with his pal, James goes off talking on a reel about the consequences of having sex without protection – and by protection, he means a lawyer. He recounts the aftermath of having sex with a gold digger (which has obviously happened to many of Lebron’s team-mates). The lecture ends up being Lebron quoting lines word-for-word from Kanye West’s song, Gold Digger, which Dr. Connors eventually calls him out for.
Just as with Cena, Lebron James – although he is considered the greatest basketball player of his time – is noticeably not an actor. That made me wonder how he was going to contribute but I have to admit that he was in some of the best and most memorable parts of the movie. Both the sports stars are quite monotone in delivery, and low on expressing emotion as other actors do, however, this may have been intentional as many sports stars-turned-actors in the past have often gone over-the-top and the results are much worse.
Overall, I went into the movie with high expectations, partially because of the 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, partially due to the hilarity Amy Schumer has endowed upon the world over the past while and partially because Judd Apatow directed the film, so I was expecting something similar to Bridesmaid comedy.
Although I was no doubt laughing out loud at numerous points of the film, I did feel the film put a lot of emphasis in the romantic plot, especially after about half way through the film. While I know there has to be some sort of story carrying the comedic moments, I was surprised by how tamed Amy Schumer was at multiple points throughout the film.
In addition, there were multiple scenes in the film where Amy came out all dolled up, in probably the smallest skirts/dresses money can buy, that seemingly contradicted Amy’s comedic persona. On numerous occasions, I waited for an explanation within the dialogue on why Amy was looking so done up, but they never came. While I realize Amy can dress how she pleases and of course on a movie theatre screen she is going to want to look presentable, however, it just seemed off seeing Amy all spray-tanned, made-up and in tight mini skirts throughout the film, considering her usual comedy embodies what women are like “off-camera” for the most part.
In my opinion, I think Trainwreck deserves about 75%. It was nice to see a female lead play such an out-spoken, fun role, where she truly owns who she really is. However, it didn’t quite hit the Bridesmaids mark, maybe due to the dynamics of the cast (mainly women (Bridesmaids) vs. a balanced cast (Trainwreck)).
Definitely a film I would recommend to comedy fans, but maybe just wait till it’s out of theatres or go on cheap night.