July 20, 2015

SCREEN | Amy Schumer Gets Tamed – 'Trainwreck'

"Monogamy isn't realistic."
Amy Schumer Bill Hader Judd Appatow | Trainwreck

Trainwreck is a balance of the distinct comic sensibilities of comedian/writer Amy Schumer (in her first starring role) and producer/director Judd Apatow. The films shows much of both their trademark tendencies and senses of humour as Schumer plays a more sexualized, heightened version of herself (also named "Amy") and Apatow expresses familiar themes of growing up, the importance of family, and building relationships.

Merging Apatow's penchant for lengthy explorations of comedy in relationships with Schumer's more biting, short form material (seen on Inside Amy Schumer) is not always worthwhile. However, there are undoubtedly many scenes (maybe too many) of truly biting humour and touching reverence. Schumer is unsurprisingly hilarious and Apatow really lets his actors go off course.

Schumer plays well off her love interest in the very earnest Bill Hader, doing his most pure acting work to date. He's really stripped of his notable comic personality and impressions as the charming, straight man and boyfriend character. Their relationship and Amy's reluctance are well defined as their unique chemistry often sparkles on  screen.

The cast all-around is fairly appealing from Brie Larson as her more put together sister, Colin Quinn as her ailing father to her co-workers Tilda SwintonVanessa Bayer, Ezra Miller, and appearances from many other comedians all come together well. The film also highlights some unexpected and unusually delightful comic performances from athletes LeBron James and John Cena as foils for Hader and Schumer. There are, however, just far too many diversions from a bizarre film-within-a-film starring Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei to an endless string of sports cameos, Woody Allen allusions, and countless joke setup gags.

Trainwreck, more than anything, showcases Schumer's continued potential as a comic performer in more conventional fare beyond her successful stand up comedy and acclaimed sketch show. It also reaffirms Apatow's ability to work with other strong voices as a filmmaker and his contined fostering of emerging comedic talent. It's mostly a relatively endearing and rather feel good, traditional romantic comedy, but it's hard not to wish for more edge or danger coming from Schumer.

More | YVArcadeAV Club / MontecristoThe Playlist / Vulture

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