March 15, 2015 at 9:28 pm #182736
Some reactions from the movie’s premiere at SXSW (sounds like an early contender for any and all comedy awards):
Amy Kaufman @AmyKinLA 3h3 hours ago
Steven Weintraub @colliderfrosty 3h3 hours ago
TRAINWRECK is extremely funny. Played huge. So many great moments. And who knew @KingJames could be so funny. Will be a big hit.
Joanna Robinson @jowrotethis 3h3 hours ago
TRAINWRECK made me cry from laughing and cry from crying. Amy Schumer about to EXPLODE (even more).…
Amy Kaufman @AmyKinLA 3h3 hours ago
Kevin Polowy @djkevlar 3h3 hours ago
Danielle Nussbaum @daniellenuss 3h3 hours ago
If you’re not an Amy Schumer fan yet (who ARE you people?) #Trainwreck will make you love her. And movies. And life. But mostly Schumer.
Meredith Borders @xymarla 2h2 hours ago
The most surprising thing about TRAINWRECK: it’s just a straightforward rom-com. The least surprising thing: it’s wonderful and hilarious.
Chris Fleener @cfleener 2h2 hours ago
Amirose Eisenbach @Amirosie · 3h 3 hours ago
Trainwreck: hilarious, raunchy and fun. A fantastic breaking of stereotypical female characters. Amy Schumer, you complete me #SXSWMarch 15, 2015 at 9:30 pm #182737
‘Trainwreck’ Brings the House Down At SXSW – And It’s Not Even Finished?
Kevin Polowy Senior Editor March 15, 2015
Judd Apatow brought Trainwreck to the South by Southwest Film Festival as a “work in progress.” Yeah, he’s probably not going to have to change much.
Sunday night’s premiere of the comedy, written by and starring Amy Schumer in her first major movie role, had the capacity Austin crowd in stitches. Most of that crowd is probably going to want to return for seconds, considering a good number of jokes and lines of dialogue were barely audible over the audience’s howling.
The early consensus is that Trainwreck marks Apatow’s best comedy in years. As far as his directorial body, it easily tops This Is 40 and Funny People, probably knocks off Knocked Up and — now we’re approaching hallowed ground — may even rival the Apatow gold standard, The 40-Year-Old Virgin. In other words, Trainwreck is an instant classic.
It all starts with the flat-out hilarious star Schumer, who arrives on the movie scene with a bang (actually, many bangs) as a promiscuous, heavy drinking magazine reporter who cheats on her bodybuilding boyfriend (Jon Cena) and treats her very domesticated sister (Brie Larson) like crap. At various points throughout the film she earns laughs with nothing more than a simple look on her face. Remember how Melissa McCarthy exploded after Bridesmaids? Expect Schumer to do the same.
Hopefully we’ve moved far past the weird flurry of talking points surrounding “women being funny” that were spurred by the box office hit Bridesmaids. The most clever thing about Trainwreck, though, is that it takes time-honored gender roles in movies (especially romantic comedies) and flips them on their heads.
For once it’s the woman who fears monogamy. It’s the woman who dominates the bedroom. It’s the woman who drinks too much and smokes too much. It’s the woman who has to reluctantly change her way over the course of the story arc. And in a crowd-pleasing finale that had the audience buzzing, it’s the woman who has to win back the man in some type of ridiculous, grandiose, hysterical fashion. (Like Virgin, and unlike the vast majority of comedies, even when the romantic quarrel has to be resolved, things never turn too cheesy, serious or laughless for very long.)
That aforementioned guy is played by Bill Hader, who despite all his success on Saturday Night Live and on the big screen in fare like Skeleton Twins and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, finally gets his first major studio lead as well. He plays the infinitely likable surgeon to the sporting world’s stars who makes Schumer’s Amy change her ways. As one critic wrote on Twitter, Hader is “so endearing” that “everyone’s going to want to date him after seeing this.”
LeBron James and Bill Hader in Trainwreck
Beyond Schumer and Hader, the cast is stacked with funny performances, both from people you’d expect (Vanessa Bayer, Mike Birbiglia, Dave Attell, Colin Quinn) and people you wouldn’t (a reliably unrecognizable Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, Cena, and LeBron James). NBA star James, who plays a heightened version of himself (he’s Hader’s patient and also his best friend), steals every scene he’s in. “What are your intentions?,” he asks Amy at one point. LeBron’s defense of Cleveland and his insistence that Hader’s Aaron visit it is another one of the movie’s best scenes.
And then there’s the Achilles’ heel of Apatow films, which is runtime. Even his biggest fans will admit most of his films could use some slicing and dicing in the editing bay. I’m not sure how long Trainwreck runs, but it doesn’t feel too long, that’s for sure.
I have no idea what Apatow plans to cut from this “work in progress” for the final product (in theaters July 17), but he should save himself the energy and leave this gem like it is.March 15, 2015 at 10:07 pm #182738
I can see this getting nominations in the Musical/Comedy categories at the Golden Globes:
- Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
- Best Actor: Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Bill Hader)
- Best Actress: Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Amy Schumer)
and there is a longshot that it could get a Screenplay nomination and/or Supporting Actor nomination (for LeBron James) at the Globes, but since there are only 5 slots at the Globes for screenplay, those are usually reserved for serious Oscar contenders, and no comedies. Also, James is playing himself, so he would really have to be Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire good to be taken into serious consideration.
I can also see this scoring an Original Screenplay nomination at the Oscars, and maybe an Oscar nomination for Schumer.March 15, 2015 at 10:09 pm #182739
"I don't even believe in god, but I'm going to thank her tonight."March 15, 2015 at 10:10 pm #182740
I’m super pumped for this. Such an excellent cast!March 15, 2015 at 10:21 pm #182741
I just knew that this film wouldn’t disappoint. I can’t wait! I’m anticipating it even more now. I freakin’ love Amy Schumer, and that cast is awesome. It would be amazing if Schumer earned an Oscar nomination for the screenplay.March 15, 2015 at 10:33 pm #182742
I’ve preferred “Apatow connected” movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Bridesmaids to the movies that he’s directed. Knocked-Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin are my favorite films of his, yet I thought both were merely okay. Still, I’d love to see Schumer break out. The fact that she wrote it gives me hope it’ll be legit.March 15, 2015 at 11:01 pm #182743
Hmmm. Well, imo, Apatow is a boorish, crass, toilet-ee hack; I think the only film he was connected to that I liked was This Is The End, and it surprised me that I liked it. Plus, no sign of his whiny, one-note wife. That’s always a plus for me.
As for Shumer, I’ve seen one of her films, and I barely remember her in it, if at all. But a lady writer in a potential hit is always nice to see.
But with Tilda Swinton and Brie Larson, I’ll watch it for certain.March 16, 2015 at 6:41 am #182744
The trailer looks great, and the buzz out of SXSW gives me hope! I’ve never fully got into “Inside Amy Schumer,” but I might binge it before this comes out. I like her in the small bits I’ve seen of her. I’ll always root for a funny lady. I’m also thrilled to see glowing reviews for Bill Hader. I said it when he left “SNL” and I’ll say it again now, but dude was born to be a star. Just so inherently hysterical and charming. He deserved a bit more buzz than he got for “The Skeleton Twins,” but maybe in a mainstream, less wacky role, he’ll have that big breakthrough. I’m already expecting to love this.March 16, 2015 at 7:23 am #182745
This trailer was so good! Yes!March 16, 2015 at 12:13 pm #182746
^I love that GIF from ‘Looking’ in your sig Atypical!July 7, 2015 at 7:23 am #182747
Film Review: “Trainwreck”
March 16, 2015 | 07:00 AM PT
Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow craft a winning portrait of a
good-time Sally in the grip of her first serious relationship.
Chief Film Critic @foundasonfilm
isn’t realistic,” says a soon-to-be-divorced dad to his two preteen daughters
in an early scene from Judd Apatow’s “Trainwreck.” Two decades later, those
words have taken their toll on one of those erstwhile little girls—a
tart-tongued, booze-swilling serial dater (writer-star Amy Schumer) whose love
life is barreling downhill with ever-increasing velocity. She’s the screwed-up,
screwball heroine at the center of a somewhat shaggy, frequently hilarious
romantic comedy that, like much of Apatow’s best work, delicately balances
irreverent raunch with candid insights into the give-and-take of grown-up
relationships. The change in scenery (New York from Los Angeles) and gender
emphases serves Apatow well, as does Schumer’s excitingly original comic voice,
which should spell a critical and commercial rebound for the comedy impresario,
following the mixed fortunes of his more sober, semi-autobiographical “Funny
People” and “This Is 40.” The Universal release opens wide July 17 following
its “work-in-progress” premiere at SXSW.
The persistent accusation that Apatow underserves his
female characters has never really held water, given the smart, complex women
played by Catherine Keener in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and by Leslie Mann (the
real-life Mrs. Apatow) in “Funny People” and “This Is 40.” Still, “Trainwreck”
is the first of Apatow’s five directorial features to focus on a female lead—and
one with enough unbridled life force for a dozen ordinary characters. Schumer,
a relative newcomer whose career up to now has mostly been in television, has
written herself a gem of a role here—one that allows her to show the full range
of her comic gifts while doing a lot to subvert the ossified codes that dictate
how women in Hollywood romantic comedies are supposed to behave.
Whereas even the supposedly liberated protagonists of
Nancy Meyers and the late Nora Ephron still mostly define themselves by the
presence (or absence) of Mr. Right in their lives, Schumer’s Amy Townsend has
long ago sworn off such aspirations (if she ever had them), looks upon her
happily married sister (Brie Larson) the way a child looks at brussels sprouts,
and uses men as disposably as the playboy-lothario heartbreakers in such movies
tend to use women. Amy makes the first move and also the last, rarely spending
the night and almost never returning for a second date—save for her semi-steady
FWB, a musclebound lunkhead (a very game John Cena) who approaches sex as if it
were a grueling CrossFit routine.
Amy is, in many ways, a chip off the old block: the
daughter of a cantankerous, alcoholic dad (Colin Quinn) who was never really
there for his girls (or their mother), and who’s now suffering from the
advanced stages of MS. The cost of Dad’s assisted-living care becomes a running
bone of contention for the sisters, and one of the ways Apatow (who’s always
been attentive to matters of class and money) and Schumer maintain a baseline
of real-world problems even as the plot begins to tilt in the direction of
Tracy and Hepburn.
That shift occurs when Amy, a staff writer for a crass,
Maxim-esque men’s magazine, gets assigned a profile of Aaron Conners (Bill
Hader), a rising star among sports-medicine doctors whose patients include
LeBron James and Amar’e Stoudemire. In a device that’s as old as 1934’s “It
Happened One Night” (one of several classic comedies, including “Manhattan,” to
which “Trainwreck” tips its hat) and as recent as last year’s “Top Five,”
journalist and subject soon find themselves throwing ethics to the wind and
their bodies into each other’s arms. Which, in the case of “Trainwreck,” isn’t
the end of the story, but merely the point where things start to get
Schumer and Hader (fresh off his breakout dramatic turn
in last year’s “The Skeleton Twins”) are terrifically appealing together, in
part because they aren’t cut from the standard movie-romance cloth, and because
Schumer doesn’t give them standard movie-romance obstacles to overcome. There
are no rival lovers here who must be jilted en route to the altar, but realer,
trickier matters at hand, like Amy’s lifetime of dating men who failed to stir
any deeper feelings in her, and Aaron’s gradual realization of what it really
means to share your life with someone, for better and for worse. Doubtless,
such sentiments will earn Apatow yet more accusations of being a closeted
family-values pundit, but as the filmmaker himself has said repeatedly: Yes, as
a child of divorce himself, he’s a believer in marriage, or at least monogamy,
however unrealistic that may be.
Like Apatow, Schumer writes in a deeply personal vein and
favors the kind of narrative detours and digressions that don’t necessarily
further the plot (and which push the running time past the two-hour mark), but
which enlarge our sense of the characters and the world they inhabit. In
“Trainwreck,” that means considerable time spent fleshing out the staff of
Snuff magazine, where Amy competes against her colleagues (Randall Park,
Vanessa Bayer) for the favor of their castrating, Anna Wintour-ish boss (a
hilarious Tilda Swinton, almost unrecognizable beneath pounds of bronze
foundation and turquoise eyeshadow). Aaron’s workplace is considerably less
cutthroat, despite all the literal bone and sinew, but it allows him time to
play a little one-on-one with King James (a good sight gag), and to ponder
Amy’s gale-force impact on his life.
Beat for beat, this is one of Apatow’s most consistently
funny and charming films, right up to one of those extravagant displays of a
character’s affections that would seem terribly corny if it weren’t so
heartfelt. It’s also Apatow’s most cinematic work, with softly lit widescreen
cinematography (on 35mm film stock) from d.p. Jody Lee Lipes (“Tiny Furniture,”
“Martha Marcy May Marlene”) and the surest sense of framing, camera placement
and editing the director has yet demonstrated, free of the vestiges of sitcom
television and its insistence on “punching in” for the joke.
In addition to James and Stoudemire, Apatow and Schumer
have recruited a host of other sports-world figures (including Dallas Cowboys
QB Tony Romo and former tennis champ Chris Evert) for self-effacing cameos, but
the biggest surprise is indeed James, who plays himself—or, rather, a
self-aggrandizing, penny-pinching version of himself—to deadpan perfection.
Also deftly stealing a few scenes with the aplomb of a far younger man is the
100-year-old theater, film and television legend Norman Lloyd, cast as a fellow
resident of Quinn’s elder-care retreat.
SXSW Film Review: “Trainwreck”
Reviewed at SXSW Film Festival (Headliners), March 15,
2015. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 122 MIN.
A Universal release and presentation of an Apatow
production. Produced by Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel. Executive producer, David
Householter. Co-producers, Amy Schumer, Joshua Church.
Directed by Judd Apatow. Screenplay, Amy Schumer. Camera
(color, widescreen, 35mm), Jody Lee Lipes; editors, William Kerr, Paul Zucker;
music, Jon Brion; music supervisors, Manish Raval, Tom Wolfe; production
designer, Kevin Thompson; art director, Deborah L. Jensen; set decorator, Debra
Schutt; costume designer, Leesa Evans; sound (Dolby Digital), Tom Nelson;
supervising sound editor, George Anderson; re-recording mixers, Marc Fishman,
Chris Carpenter; visual effects supervisor, Scott M. Davids; visual effects,
Level 256; assistant director, Matt Rebenkoff; second unit camera, Adam
Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, John
Cena, Tilda Swinton, LeBron James, Randall Park, Vanessa Bayer, Ezra Miller,
Mike Birbiglia, Norman Lloyd, Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei, Cliff “Method
Man” Smith, Tim Meadows, Amar’e Stoudemire, Matthew Broderick, Chris Evert,
Marv Albert, Tony Romo. (English, Mandarin dialogue)July 7, 2015 at 7:32 am #182748
Hollywood Reporter’s review:
“Trainwreck”: SXSW Review
4:37 AM PDT 3/16/2015 by John DeFore
Bottom Line: An extremely funny screenwriting debut with
a very personal voice.
Venue: South by Southwest Film Festival, Special Events
Opens: July 17 (Universal Pictures)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn,
Vanessa Bayer, Tilda Swinton, LeBron James, Mike Birbiglia, John Cena, Dave
Attell, Norman Lloyd
Director: Judd Apatow
Schumer plays a woman who’s nearly ready to give up her ramblin’ ways for Bill
Cutting through many of the easy signifiers found in
bad-behavior comedies to get at what it actually feels like to be an
intimacy-phobic mess, “Trainwreck” finds Judd Apatow putting his directing
chops in service of Amy Schumer’s deeply felt but cracklingly funny screenplay.
Starring as a woman with, let’s say, a well-diversified
love life who is disturbed to find herself spending more than one evening with
the same man, Schumer is more than credible in the kind of role usually
associated with men, making fun of her character’s distrust of love while
showing how honestly she comes by it. It will be interesting to see how this
picture fares commercially compared to Apatow’s tales of similarly stunted
young men: It’s in the same league in terms of laughs, its romance works as
well or better, and there’s less fat on it than Apatow sometimes allows. What
could keep it from being a hit, aside from double standards Americans apply to
the sex lives of men and women?
Schumer’s character, also named Amy, is a child of
divorce whose father (Colin Quinn) taught her at an early age that
“monogamy isn’t realistic.” While her sister Kim (Brie Larson)
outgrew that lesson, marrying a man who had a precocious kid from a previous
relationship, Amy took it to heart, going home with all comers and generally
staying sober enough to flee long before dawn. (If you blacked out and had to
make the walk of shame back to Manhattan with commuters on the Staten Island
Ferry, you might do the same.)
Amy is more than fine with this lifestyle, and her
workplace enables her callousness. She’s a writer for a douchey mag called
S’NUFF, where a typical headline reads “You Call These Tits?” (A
transformed Tilda Swinton, who looks like she’s been sandblasted and dipped in
preservative chemicals, is frighteningly effective as her soulless editor.)
Assigned to do a feature on Aaron (Bill Hader), a surgeon
who specializes in rebuilding injured athletes, the sports-averse Amy is wary.
But he interviews her more than vice versa in their first encounter, and before
long their conversations are happening over dinner, then drinks, then in a
shared cab, where Amy startles Aaron by telling the cabbie they’ll be making not
two stops but one.
After that first night, we’re in a rom-com where the
roles are reversed: Amy puzzles over her desire to see Aaron again, while he
gets support from a best pal who’s thrilled to see he has finally met someone.
(That best pal is LeBron James, one of a few celebs who continue the Apatow
tradition of working famous nonactors into the cast. Fortunately, James is
charming in the part, a penny-pinching “Downton Abbey” fan who is protective of
Amy’s more pessimistic side is explored in scenes with
her dad, who has multiple sclerosis and must live in an assisted care facility.
(Centenarian Norman Lloyd, whose screen credits stretch back to Alfred
Hitchcock’s “Saboteur” in 1942, plays his most interesting neighbor.)
Disagreements with Kim about Dad’s care are a window into Amy’s attitude toward
the deeply flawed man and the way he helped shape the mess she became. While
one scene on this front effortlessly becomes an eloquent tearjerker, Schumer’s
script conveys the story’s psychological cause-and-effect without needing to
express it in clichéd dialogue. She’s much too busy squeezing in jokes and
double entendres to waste words on that kind of thing.
Hader is mostly straight man here, radiating decency and
patience even when Amy starts stumbling in their new relationship. Aaron is the
kind of boyfriend with whom an I-need-to-be-angry woman really needs to get
creative: “You go down on me too much!” she yells, grasping at
straws, before warning him in a panic, “Don’t try to spin this into a
reason for not going down on me.”
Schumer has never had anything like a leading film role,
but self-revealing stand-up and a TV series have limbered her up for the job.
If she doesn’t have quite the range of some other nascent stars Apatow has worked
with, her writing makes up for it, and she’s comfortable enough with the
director’s trademark improvisation that “Trainwreck” plays as if it were fully
scripted. Structurally, this is one romance whose brief period of crisis
emerges less from a need to generate false drama than from insight into a woman
who has practiced being a bad girl for so long she can’t believe she’d be good
for someone. And when that crisis resolves, we’re treated to one of the most
surprising and charming dance numbers since “Napoleon Dynamite.”
Here’s hoping Schumer goes back to this well as quickly
as Woody Allen, an influence she cheekily acknowledges in a midfilm montage.
Production companies: Apatow Productions, Universal
Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn,
Vanessa Bayer, Tilda Swinton, LeBron James, Mike Birbiglia, John Cena, Dave
Attell, Norman Lloyd
Director: Judd Apatow
Screenwriter: Amy Schumer
Producers: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel
Executive producer: David Householter
Director of photography: Jody Lee Lipes
Production designer: Kevin Thompson
Costume designers: Jessica Albertson, Leesa Evans
Editors: William Kerr, Peck Prior, Paul Zucker
Music: Jon Brion
Rated R, 121 minutesJuly 7, 2015 at 8:44 am #182749
Amy Schumer is only pretending to be a “Trainwreck” for Judd Apatow
The comic’s blistering sensibility makes it to the
by Drew McWeeny
@DrewatHitFix | Monday, Mar 16, 2015 3:55 PM
AUSTIN—While it was introduced as a work in progress,
Judd Apatow’s new film “Trainwreck” looked pretty much locked and
ready to release when it played on Sunday afternoon at the Paramount.
Since “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” was released,
Judd Apatow’s filmography has been made up exclusively of films he wrote, many
of which felt very personal. “This Is 40” felt to me like a summation
of a lot of those ideas and themes, and I’m glad he took some time to decide
how to follow that film. “Trainwreck” was written by Amy Schumer, and
her voice runs clearly through every part of this movie. What Judd’s done here,
and it’s not as easy as it sounds, is turned his own considerable success into
a shield he could use to protect Schumer and guarantee that her voice reached
the screen intact. As a result, “Trainwreck” is lacerating, smart,
heartfelt, and raw, and for a big studio comedy, it makes some very strong
points about the small ways we punish ourselves and sabotage our own happiness.
If you were familiar with Schumer’s stand-up work before
she got her Comedy Central show, then you know just how scatological and
brilliant she can be. She has the ability to tell the complete truth about what
it’s like to be a smart, funny, single sexual being in modern America, and precisely
because she holds nothing back, her work can cut. With “Trainwreck,”
she’s written a version of herself who hasn’t quite figured out who she is yet,
and the film takes a very funny but ultimately honest look at what it feels
like to reach a point in your life where you aren’t sure what’s next, but you
know that it will require a very real change. It can be terrifying to fall in
love, because there is a helplessness that is part of that feeling, and if
there’s one thing Amy Schumer is not, it is helpless.
In the film, Amy works at a magazine where they seem to
have no moral quandaries about running a story like “The 10 Ugliest
Celebrity Children Under 6 Years Old” or “Does garlic change the
taste of semen?”, and she seems to have zero problems with that. It
affords her a lifestyle that she likes. She can sleep with whoever she wants,
she has a nice apartment, and she has no interest whatsoever in monogamy. The
film actually opens with a very funny but also deeply sad flashback in which
nine-year-old Amy (Devin Fabry) and her five-year-old sister Kim (Carla Oudin)
learn that monogamy is a lie from their father Gordon (Colin Quinn) as his way
of explaining divorce to them. The jokes all land in that scene, but it made me
sad because of just how much trust children place in us, and how often our own
selfish choices resonate through their entire lives. Grown-up Kim (Brie Larson)
seems more than happy to settle into a life with Tom (Mike Birbiglia) and her
step-son Allister (Evan Brinkman), and she can’t help but judge the way Amy
lives her life.
When Amy is assigned to write a profile on a sports
doctor named Aaron (Bill Hader), she doesn’t want to do it because she hates
sports. Almost immediately, though, there is real chemistry between them.
Aaron’s the kind of guy who works hard, who does charity work for Doctors
Without Borders, and who seems almost unaware of what a great catch he is. He
and Amy sleep together, and in her world, that’s the end of things. She is
shocked when Aaron calls and wants to see her again, and they fall into an
In some ways, “Trainwreck” follows the general
model of the modern romantic comedy, but Schumer’s script inverts the tropes in
very sly ways. Take LeBron James, for example. He’s got a major supporting role
as Aaron’s friend, and I could watch a six-hour film of nothing but LeBron and
Hader playing one-on-one like they do in one scene here. In essence, because of
the perspective shift here, Hader is playing the role that would normally be
the female lead in terms of dynamic, which means LeBron James is playing the
chatty best friend who offers advice and a shoulder to cry on. And the
damnedest thing is how naturally he steps into the role. He is hilarious in the
movie, and the entire film is filled with scene-stealers. Schumer knows the
value of having everyone in the film look good and not just her, and she gives
others room to shine. John Cena, who I don’t normally think of as someone who
performs comedy, has a very funny role as Amy’s semi-occasional kind-of
boyfriend. “SNL”’s Vanessa Bayer gets a lot of mileage out of her smile and her
inability to hide it, while Tilda Swinton seems to relish playing the morally
horrible editor of the magazine where Amy works. Actors like Dave Attell,
Randall Park, Jon Glaser, Ezra Miller, Norman Lloyd, Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa
Tomei, Nikki Glaser, Method Man, Mathew Broderick, Leslie Jones, and even Marv
freakin’ Albert all show up and kill, and the film is better for it.
Even if you’re pretty sure you know where “Trainwreck”
is going, it’s the way Schumer opts for the honest over the easy in every scene
that makes this one count. This film doesn’t make any excuses for Amy’s worst
behavior. Instead, it offers up the revolutionary idea that even if we are weak
or bruised or broken in some fundamental way, we still deserve love, and we can
change. We can invite the right things into our lives, and we can opt to shut
out the truly destructive. Watching Amy struggle with the choices she’s making
in the film, I found that it didn’t matter to me whether or not she ends up
with Aaron. What mattered was seeing Amy stop hurting herself emotionally as a
way of keeping the world at arm’s length. It is a miracle that any of us ever
find someone else in this world worth holding onto, and when it does happen, it
is a sin to let that opportunity pass. There are so many reasons we can give
ourselves for why we should deny ourselves the highs and the lows of real love,
not least of which is fear. When Amy starts to realize what Aaron means to her,
she gets ready to run, gets ready to burn it all down right away because she
knows that she’ll do it eventually. She is willing to tank the relationship
simply to avoid the pain of tanking the relationship, and that drive can be
very real in people. What’s harder is steering directly into that fear and
refusing to let it stop you from doing something that can change your whole
life. “Trainwreck” is all about finding that courage and overcoming
your own programming because it is important.
Schumer is not just deadly funny in the film. She’s got
real chops as an actor, and there is some very real material that she gets to
play. It helps that Brie Larson’s playing her sister, because I think Larson
may be incapable of giving a bad performance. Hader also helps as he keeps
getting better and better, revealing more and more of his talent. He manages to
ground Aaron and make him feel very real while also continually scoring joke
after joke. Even more annoying is how easy he makes it all seem.
“Trainwreck” marks a turning point for Judd
Apatow, and if this next run of movies is about collaboration with strong comic
voices, directing as a way of preventing studio interference, then I think
we’re going to see some very special films as a result. Apatow is a fantastic
audience, one of the most important things when directing comedy, and there are
more successful jokes per minute in this film than in most studio comedies in
any year. Here’s hoping Schumer has plenty more to share with us in the future,
and that “Trainwreck” leads even more people to discovering her show.
Schumer is willing to bleed for her work, an artist who digs deep and who is
unafraid of just how afraid she is. “Trainwreck” is more than funny.
It’s also wise, and that hard-won wisdom makes this a can’t-miss for anyone who
feels bruised by love, but never beaten.
“Trainwreck” is in theaters July 17, 2015.
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