Going into Trainwreck, Amy Schumer is already one of the fastest growing names in entertainment. Her stand-up and the sketch comedy series Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central often focus on feminist topics that highlight double standards in the most ridiculously hilarious ways.
Directed by Judd Apatow and written by Schumer, Trainwreck starts out like an episode of Inside Amy Schumer. She’s sexually promiscuous and unapologetic about it and, as she narrates her life at that point, she’s okay with having a lot of sex with a lot of different men, she has a no-sleep-over rule, and she’s not interested in commitments no matter how minor.
“I got two tickets to the Black Keys this week if you want to come.” “Thanks. Bye!”
When Amy meets Aaron (Bill Hader), she unexpectedly falls for him and doesn’t know what to do about it, at one point referring to their relationship in voiceover as “the whitest couple in America.”
For anyone familiar with Amy, the comedy in Trainwreck doesn’t come as a surprise. The presence of exaggerated personalities are common in her skits and play a huge role here. From her curmudgeon father (Colin Quinn), from whom she learned at a young age that “monogamy isn’t realistic,” to her overbearing and apathetic boss Dianna – who I didn’t realize was Tilda Swinton until near the end when it hit me that this wasn’t a Milica Jovovich-meets-Allison Janney look-alike whose name I couldn’t think of.
These characters are key to what makes Trainwreck such a ride. The plot itself, as progressive as it is touted to be with Amy taking on the characteristics often given to men, is pretty standard. There are points in the second half where it falls in line with the typical rom-com that almost made me surrender in mild disappointment until I remembered: wait! – the crude jokes haven’t been sacrificed for sparks and romance. I’ve just taken for granted that they’re ever-present. It’s more about those individual anecdotes than the collective story.
With that stated, there are points where Trainwreck could use some cuts around the edges to sharpen it. Scenes with the surprisingly delightful LeBron James, for example, drag longer than necessary, as if a sweet spot was found that gets stretched more than it should. Other scenes, such as the intervention that occurs later in the movie, could have been cut entirely.
Despite these, Trainwreck still hits as the funniest film of the year. It helps that the lead role is based on Amy’s own experiences so the length she has to go to get into character is likely quite minimal, but to be this naturally funny is rare and unforced humour itself is often underused in film.