Trainwreck (2015) – Movie Review


Amy Schumer takes the traditional “bad boy meets good girl” storyline, turns it around to make the girl the lothario, and for the most part, manages to make it work. It helps that Schumer isn’t afraid to go to the comedic places few others dare to. Watching her describe a particularly heavy menstrual cycle or a problem with a condom that gets misplaced internally, for instance, is simultaneously disgusting and hilarious, thanks to her matter-of-fact delivery.

Schumer plays “Amy,” a Hollywood-ized version of herself. She has a glamorous job as a magazine writer, lives in Manhattan, of course, and enjoys all the spoils that come with it, including lots of sex with lots of men. Because of her damaged upbringing, Amy is perfectly happy hopping from bed to bed without emotional ties; that is, until she meets a successful sports doctor (Bill Hader, in a surprisingly low key leading role) who pursues more than just a one night stand with her. When Amy falls for him, her world begins to both come together and fall apart, and we wait to see if she’ll eventually screw it all up or see the light.

While thin on actual plot, the movie maintains our interest because of the solid performances from the principle characters and the hysterical lines Schumer has crafted for them. It’s true that some of the dialogue comes off like excerpts from an extended Schumer stand-up routine, but overall, Schumer shows a significant amount of depth and heart for the people inhabiting her world.

Not everything works, like the incomprehensible “love intervention” scene involving LeBron James, Chris Evert, Matthew Broderick, and Marv Albert (though it was fun hearing tennis sweetheart Evert say the words “cock block”). What does work, however, is the acting, especially from Schumer herself. She’s obviously a gifted comedienne, but there are scenes where she takes your breath away with the depth of her dramatic abilities.

Schumer also deserves credit for sharing the laughs with her co-stars. There are some outstanding supporting performances, most notably from Tilda Swinton (who you will absolutely not recognize) as Amy’s manic and narcissistic magazine editor boss, and from the WWE’s John Cena, who turns in arguably the best supporting performance in a comedy this year as Amy’s muscle-headed and clueless boyfriend. His dirty sex talk scene with Schumer is worth the ticket price alone. LeBron James does a surprisingly good LeBron James, who’s just looking out for the best interests of his buddy Hader. And finally, there’s a beautifully tender scene between Schumer and 13-year old Evan Brinkman. This kid’s got talent.

The movie’s ending is silly and stylized, but you won’t care, because by the time it’s all over, you’re on Schumer’s side and want her to win. You’ll win, too, when you watch the movie.


7 out of 10 stars


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