Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Having heard great things about Trainwreck, the new romantic comedy written by comedian Amy Schumer and directed by Judd Apatow, I decided to check it out at the local theater. As luck would have it, so did the rest of the world. I ended up seated in the front of the theater, right below the screen. Normally, I would have been annoyed at having to crane my neck to watch the film...and I was...but soon realized a stiff neck would be well worth it.
Since she was a young girl, Amy (Amy Schumer) has had it drummed into her by her father (Colin Quinn) that monogamy was not possible. Taking this lesson to heart, Amy has gone through a series of one night stands, never really committing to any relationship. Sure, she has one particular lover that she sees more than once, but Steven (Jon Cena) is a chiseled, muscle-bound Adonis she has no intention of spending the rest of her life with.
Amy shows more of a sense of dedication to her job at S'nuff, a men's magazine with a bend towards satire. Offered a job interviewing the premier sports doctor Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), Amy balks at the opportunity, believing that sports are stupid and that anyone who cares about them is a lesser person. Unfortunately, it's that snarky attitude about the piece that makes her boss Dianna (Tilda Swinton) believe she is perfect for the job. Dangling an assistant editor's job is enough incentive for Amy to take the piece seriously.
But when she finally meets Dr. Conners, she discovers that she is attracted to him. He is serious about his work, but not to the point that he can't be funny as well. She finds herself wanting to spend more time with him, even forgoing the one-night-stand rule and sleeping over his apartment. Could it be that Amy has been wrong about monogamous relationships or is this one just a tease about to end in disaster?
There is something about Amy Schumer's comedic style that seems to speak to me. Down to earth, sassy and often downright raunchy, this woman presents us with a average American woman and hits us with the funny, specifically, the funny your average American woman can relate to. That's why Trainwreck is so funny. Sure, we all have that dream of a perfect monogamous relationship. Most know that this does not exist, so instead of having a monogamous relationship that may not include an Adonis-like specimen of man, many will play the field, having fun without bothering to settle down because they think they don't want to settle for less. In short, they never give themselves a chance at a happy monogamous relationship. As Amy discovers, sometimes what seems like less from the outside is so much more on the inside.
The casting for this film was terrific. Bill Hader and Amy Schumer play well off one another and make for a believable couple. Brie Larson as Kim is an excellent straight-man to Schumer's Amy. Colin Quinn is terrific as the sharp-tongued, racist, womanizing, long-suffering Mets fan who is Amy's father - you know, the one who taught her sharp wit, satire and a fear of monogamy. LeBron James and John Cena are absolutely hysterical. As Amy's sorta boyfriend Steven, wrestler John Cena is allowed to fool around a bit. Not only do we get to see more of that gorgeous body than we would ever get to see on wrestling programs, but we get to see a more comedic side of Cena. Two particularly hilarious scenes include his attempt to talk dirty to Amy during sex and the fight in the movie theater. This is a welcome side of Cena we haven't seen before. LeBron is just funny by being so non-LeBron - wanting to make sure he doesn't miss the latest episode of Downton Abbey so he won't have to feel like an outsider while hearing it discussed in the locker room. Or how about the fact that LeBron never seems to want to pay for anything...or that ultra sensitive side. Also making some fun appearances are Marv Albert, Chris Evert and Amar'e Stoudemire. Perhaps the most surprising and equally hilarious star performance is Tilda Swinton as Dianna. She is utterly unrecognizable in the role and bitingly snarky.
So, despite the crappy seating forcing me to crane my neck to look at the screen during this film, I actually had a great time watching Trainwreck...a laugh out loud time...and at the end of the movie, the audience was actually clapping. Well done, Amy Schumer! I can't wait to see more from you!