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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Trainwreck | Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Colin Quinn, Tilda Swinton, Brie Larson, Lebron James, John Cena | Review

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4sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD Judy Thorburn

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4lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD

 

Trainwreck

Amy Schumer, who has risen to fame as one of the hottest stand up comedians in the country and stars in her own Comedy Central series, “Inside Amy Schumer”, makes her big screen acting debut as the star of this romantic comedy she wrote, inspired by her own personal experiences and people in her life.  The director is Judd Apatow, the guy who has built a reputation for making some of the raunchiest, over the top, bromance comedies, although he has shown that he is capable of making softer, toned down movies like “Funny People” and “This Is 40”.  One again, he delivers the goods.

Schumer turns the tables on men who are habitual daters, the ones that sleep around and refuse to commit. Instead, the story revolves around an independent, single woman named Amy Townsend (Schumer) with the same issues.

The stage is set for Amy, when, as a young girl, her cad of a father, Gordon (Colin Quinn) in explaining why he is divorcing her mom, told her and her younger sister, “Monogamy isn’t realistic. Would you like to play with only one doll, or several?”  Fast forward 23 years.  Amy, now in her thirties, appears to have taken his advice to heart when it comes to “playing” with the opposite sex. Not so, for her sister Kim (Brie Larson) who rejected her now estranged dad's words, and is happily married, stepmother to her husband's son, and soon learns she is pregnant.

Amy, on the other hand, sleeps around, engages in casual sex and one night stands with a never ending list of men, and drinks way too much. She doesn't want to get too close with any man, be tied down in a relationship, or get married, or so she thinks, until she meets one special guy that makes her rethink and reevaluate her lifestyle and what she truly wants.

Amy works as a staff writer for “S’Nuff,” a hip men's magazine.  She hates sports and knows nothing about it, but nevertheless, is given an assignment by her cold, demanding, and fashionably chic British editor and boss Dianna (an almost unrecognizable, Tilda Swinton) to interview and write a feature story on sports doctor Aaron Conner (Bill Hader) whose patients are some of the top athletes.

A professional interaction eventually leads to much more when the good doc, calls the next day, asks Amy out on a date and refuses to take no for an answer.  Aaron is charming, sweet, smart, attractive and hard to resist. And so they begin to date, with Amy starting to realize how much she likes him.  Falling in love was never in the cards.  So, as panic sets in, a scared Amy begins to sabotage their budding romance by creating unnecessary friction, conflict, a blow up and temporary separation.

While the story includes some familiar elements, this romantic comedy stands out from the standard, forgettable drivel.  For one thing, Schumer and the charming, natural Haber (who turned in impressive dramatic performance in last year’s great indie flick “The Skeleton Twins”) have great chemistry.

Sure there is some very raunchy, sexually explicit dialogue and foul language.  Amy is known for her uncensored, non apologetic, no holds barred humor. If you've seen her work than it shouldn't came as a surprise. What is a welcoming surprise is her emotional range, in which she displays a myriad of emotions, and isn't afraid to show a vulnerable side. 

SNL funny lady Vanessa Bayer has a small role as Nikki, Amy's co-worker and best friend.  Early on, professional wrestler/musclebound John Cena, proves he can also act outside of the ring, in his portrayal as Steven, one of Amy's lovers, a sweet knucklehead, whose heart is broken when Amy admits she isn't, and never will be, faithful. NBA superstar LeBron James, appearing as himself, does a great job playing it straight as Aaron's close friend and patient and several other basketball stars make brief cameo appearances. 

If I have a bone to pick, it would be that the film is a bit too long at 122 minutes culminating in a preposterous scene at the end that didn't ring true, unlike the rest of the story. Several scenes could have easily been cut to tighten the story including the late night intervention featuring tennis great Chris Evert, sports announcer Marv Albert and Matthew Broderick appearing as themselves, and a weird, off putting scene involving Amy and her magazine's young intern (Ezra Miller).

In spite of that, Trainwreck is an appealing, funny, and emotionally touching romantic comedy with lots of heart that will hit a relatable chord with women as well as men.  While Amy's character may be a trainwreck, the movie is far from it.  In fact, it is on track as one of the most enjoyable comedies of the year.

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