Every so often, a standup comedian gets a television show. Sometimes, they get a prominent movie role. Rarely can they do both, much less within a very short time frame. Amy Schumer has done just that with ‘Trainwreck’.
Amy (Amy Schumer) is an irresponsible writer for a men’s magazine. She drinks way too much and sleeps around, despite being involved with the nice, but dumb and fitness-obsessed Steven (John Cena). She visits her father Gordon (Colin Quinn), who has multiple sclerosis and is in an assisted living center and tries to have a good relationship with him even though his infidelities caused he and her mother to get a divorce. Amy’s sister Kim (Brie Larson) isn’t so forgiving. She is married and has a stepson.
When Amy’s editor, Dianna (Tilda Swinton) assigns her to write about a prominent sports doctor Aaron Connors (Bill Hader), everything changes. Despite him being very straight-laced and unlike Amy, the two begin to warm up to each other. The real question is if this could be the start of something serious for Amy or just another fling.
As you would expect, and probably hope, this has tons of raunchy humor. Schumer wrote this, so it has a lot of her sexual and social situations from her standup routines. Thankfully, there are a lot of other, fresh ideas in here. The script is also very strong overall instead of being a few funny scenes strung together as could easily have been the case.
Like many Judd Apatow films, this is a longer than average comedy. Unlike some of them, this doesn’t feel WAY overlong. There is also a fair bit of dramatic weight inserted into the narrative. This is mostly due to great work from Colin Quinn as Gordon a neglectful father.
The ending is appropriately big and funny, but it feels a little rushed and out of character for Amy. It makes some sense given Aaron’s profession and associations, but it could probably been handled a little smoother.
Schumer is good here and proves she can carry a movie. Hader, again, turns in good work as the straight man (see “The Skeleton Twins”). Quinn, as stated before, injects this with depth and humanity while Larson, never goes overboard as the straight-laced sister with her life together. The real surprises are LeBron James, John Cena and Amare’ Stoudamire. The last two don’t really have that many scenes, but they really, really commit to their characters and offer some funny moments. James doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary, but he plays an overly concerned friend and down-to-earth-guy-who-also-happens-to-be-the-best-basketball-player-in-the-world far better than anyone had any right to expect. Vanessa Bayer also scores some good laughs as Amy’s perky co-worker.
Special features include: deleted scenes, a gag reel, line-o rama, secrets of the Wu, and feature commentary.
“Trainwreck” is worthy of the good things you have probably heard. It’s Apatow’s return to making effective comedy that also manages to continue his favorite theme of growing up. For Schumer, it could be the start of a very promising career, if not just acting, but writing feature comedies.
Rated R/Unrated 125 minutes/129 minutes 2016