Sunday, July 19, 2015

Review: Trainwreck

Image courtesy of Universal Pictures.
So, now having seen Judd Apatow's "Trainwreck," I can say I'm sold on Amy Schumer, whose work as a stand-up comedienne and Comedy Central show are unseen by me. But based on the screenplay, which she wrote, and her performance in the film, it's safe to say that she's a comedic force.

One thing I particularly liked, however, about "Trainwreck" is that it does not rely solely on its lead for laughs. In fact, most of the supporting cast members are equally as funny, especially Colin Quinn as Schumer's lecherous father, Ezra Miller as a weirdo intern at the magazine where she works, John Cena (yes, the wrestling star) as a meathead boyfriend and, my personal favorite, Tilda Swinton as Schumer's tell-it-like-it-is boss.

In the film, Schumer plays Amy, a woman who was told by her father at a young age that monogamy is not realistic during a particularly funny monologue by Quinn and, years later, lives by that rule. She goes from guy to guy, unable to commit, and works at a men's magazine that specializes in articles with titles such as "Am I Gay or Is She Just Boring?"

During an assignment to cover a doctor (Bill Hader) who practices sports medicine, she takes her subject home, sleeps with him and eventually realizes she likes the guy, who's a pretty nice one. Hader's doctor pals around with celebrity athletes, including LeBron James, who, as it turns out, is also a pretty funny fella.

Although "Trainwreck" follows the typical formula of a, in this case, good time Charlene who decides to settle down after tiring of the single life and finding a person who cares about her, Apatow's film thrives on the nonstop barrage of truly funny sequences and characters who go beyond the sketches typically associated with these types of films. There's also a really funny running gag involving a fake movie starring Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei.

This is not to say that the picture is perfect. Similar to some of Apatow's other movies, it goes on a little long for a comedy and some of the sports-related plot threads are a little too much in abundance. A scene during which Hader takes counsel from James, Matthew Broderick and Marv Albert elicits more groans than giggles.

Over the years, there have been a number of comics who have been touted as the next big thing, some of whom proved to be true talents, while others rightfully fizzled. Schumer appears to belong to the former camp. She's funny and smart and the role reversal in "Trainwreck" - in other words, the woman being the lothario, rather than the man - feels fresh. It's an often hilarious movie with a great cast that I'd very gladly recommend.

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