Trainwreck full movie review - Amy Schumer & Judd Apatow are the Perfect Combo
I've enjoyed Judd Apatow's films since the beginning but even I can admit that his material has gotten a little repetitive.
He's a great comedy filmmaker but I was anxious to see him branch out from the topics of family and getting old. TRAINWRECK gives us just that, as he keeps his seat in the director's chair and lets comedienne Amy Schumer handle the writing duties. The best advice for writers seems to be "write what you know" and Schumer has followed suit with this semi- autobiographical romantic comedy; as far as I can tell, certain characters are based on people in her life (her father, her sister) but the story itself comes from her personal view on modern relationships and dating. In the film, Schumer is Amy Townsend, a reasonably successful woman with a job writing for a trashy men's magazine (think Maxim), a relationship with a musclebound softie, and scores of men passing through her life in a constant parade of casual sex. An ill-timed text message puts an effective end to her relationship just as she's assigned to write an article on sports surgeon Aaron (Bill Hader). Aaron isn't Amy's typical sort of man but she allows herself the chance to have a little fun with him and she's subsequently terrified when he reads too much into it and pursues an honest relationship with her. Monogamy and "good guys" aren't generally in Amy's repertoire but she discovers feelings for him she's not accustomed to feeling; can Amy overcome her own fears and self-sabotage to make this relationship work?
TRAINWRECK is a really fun movie. I'd say it's certainly Apatow's best since KNOCKED UP in 2007. Bringing in Amy Schumer's brand of comedy was a perfect way of changing things up a little. I've only ever seen the occasional clip from Schumer's comedy specials and a handful of episodes from her Comedy Central show but I dig her style. She's hilarious and there's an honesty to her comedy that I enjoy, and it carries over here. I took the time to watch the behind-the-scenes footage and listen to the commentary for this film, and this is obviously a deeply personal project for Schumer and a real triumph for her to see it come to fruition. So, congrats to her because it was one of the funniest comedies of 2015. It takes a little while to gain its momentum but once the movie's in gear it's a good time. As with any Apatow movie, some of the improv'd lines fall flat on delivery and the first couple scenes had some groaners but it doesn't take long to find its footing. I was worried that, knowing Schumer's comedy is famous for her frank sexuality, TRAINWRECK would try and skate by solely on shock humor but, no, it incorporates into a surprisingly touching story for a perfect blend. Schumer and Apatow are a talented duo and I'm hoping they'll find reason to collaborate again in the future. TRAINWRECK is equally adept at tugging heartstrings (there are a couple of unexpectedly emotional moments) as it is at mining laughter from its well-tread premise.
The movie's success comes in part from a grade-A cast and a phenomenal team of supporting players. Schumer and Apatow must've called in some favors because they've scored a seriously great group to fill out Amy's world. In addition to featuring one of Bill Hader's best, most honest performances, we get Colin Quinn in a minor role as Amy's father Gordon and the fantastic Brie Larson as her level-headed sister Kim. The great Dave Attell appears has a bit part as the homeless Noam heckling strangers for change outside Amy's apartment, reminding me how much I miss Comedy Central's "Insomniac". None other than Tilda Swinton plays Amy's boss Dianna and I completely failed to recognize her the first time I saw the movie. I'm so accustomed to her playing such bizarre characters that seeing her in a somewhat "normal" role, especially in a comedy where she scores some laughs, threw me off and I had to check the end credits to verify it was really her I was seeing. And on the topic of surprises, some of the best laughs in the movie come from the non-comedians. Seeing as how the movie is set in the world of sports medicine, there are naturally a handful of athletes that pop in. Lebron James, who legitimately made me laugh more than a few times, even has a relatively sizeable role as one of Aaron's close friends. John Cena appears in the first act of the movie as Amy's surprisingly sensitive boyfriend and his scene in a movie theater dealing with a heckler is hilarious.
TRAINWRECK is a great segue from TV to big screen for Amy Schumer and she couldn't have found a better partner to bring it about than Judd Apatow. It was a major accomplishment for her and a breath of fresh air for fans of his. It's not your average rom-com and it has fun with the genre, but it still maintains a good heart at its core and the relationship at the forefront feels legit. Fans of either shouldn't be disappointed, and now I'd love to see Schumer team with Paul Feig.