Gemma Creagh talks to Judd Apatow about how Trainwreck came together, working with Amy Schumer, his advice for directors and having a singsong in a Dublin pub.
DIR: Judd Apatow • WRI: Amy Schumer • PRO: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel • DOP: Jody Lee Lipes • ED: William Kerr, Peck Prior, Paul Zucker • DES: Kevin Thompson • MUS: Jon Brion • CAST: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson
Even if you’re not a fan, we’re all familiar with the bog-standard rom-com. Every year at least two sets of impossibly attractive Hollywood A-listers grin at us from buses and billboards. Those hetro couples standing back to back; perhaps she’s giving him a stern/disapproving look, while he shrugs/winks cheekily to camera. Oh, how she will fix him by act three. Trainwreck is a nice subversion of an overused trope.
What’s initially impressive about Trainwreck is the sheer weight of the marketing campaign behind it. Hot-as-s**t Amy Schumer and the accessible, popular Judd Apatow are both massive box -office draws. Unfortunately, what often happens with highly anticipated movies such as this, is the let-down. For example, we all thought Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was going to have more hilarious one-liners than it did. And The Phantom Menace. That is all. Just The Phantom Menace. Trainwreck certainly promised a lot; what could be more hilarious than a hot mess of a girl teamed with the nerdy, nice guy?
Shumer’s character, also an Amy, is an exaggerated version of her stand-up persona. Taught to avoid commitment at a young age by her philandering father, she spends her spare time boozing and meeting men. Amy’s forced to interview Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), an accomplished sports doctor, for the trashy magazine she works for – and finds herself more attached than she’d planned. I don’t blame her, the chemistry between Bill and Amy is ‘pulpable’. Bill’s performance is both relatable and absolutely adorable, while Amy’s shows an impressive range and depth we’ve not seen from her before. He works well with Amy’s comic timing It should also be noted that a good chunk of the film’s comedic highlights are delivered via the supporting roles of Vanessa Bayer, Tilda Swinton, John Cena and LeBron James.
The difference between Trainwreck and most other Hollywood comedies is that the trailer and released clips do not contain every funny moment or plot point in the film. In fact, there’s a consistent vein of humour throughout, even in sombre moments. This is a perfect moment to pay tribute to a sex scene that is so awkward it would make Ricky Gervais cringe. However, ultimately the best thing about this film… and I’m going to pause as moments like this are so rare… is that it delivers more than it promised. It’s surprisingly insightful, and features moments of emotional depth delivered by likeable, complex characters.
16 (See IFCO for details)
DIR: Nicholas Stoller • WRI: Jason Segel • PRO: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson • DOP: Russ T. Alsobrook • ED: William Kerr • DES: Jackson De Govia • CAST: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Russell Brand, Mila Kunis, Bill Hader
Finally, a romantic comedy that is both funny and romantic has fallen onto the big screen, and it is down to none other than the creator of Superbad and Knocked Up. It has been a while since a rom-com has done exactly what it says on the tin.
This film is the king of all comedies so far this year. It leaps straight into the main point of the film and doesn’t drag on for ages. Just a few minutes into the film and the laughter starts bursting out.
The first funny scene is definitely one for the ladies. Composer, Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) gives the audience an eyeful of, well, his bits, something not be sneered at. This all happens while he is being dumped by famous TV star girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). On advice from his half brother, Brian (Bill Hader), Peter decides to go on a break to Hawaii by himself, only to find his ex-girlfriend Sarah staying in the same hotel alongside her new musician boyfriend, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Peter puts on an ‘I don’t care, I’m so over you’ face in front of Sarah but the hysterical crying coming from his balcony at night tells the receptionist Rachel (Mila Kunis) a different story. Rachel tries to help Peter in any way she can, as she herself has been hurt in a past relationship. It is fairly obvious from the start that these two could be more than just friends. Rachel seems to be a quiet and sweet receptionist but during a date with Peter her ex-boyfriend turns up and a humorous, wild side to her suddenly pops out. There are so many funny moments throughout the film. Peter hanging from a cliff after falling when trying to decide whether to jump into the sea or not will have you in stitches.
The legend of Superbad, Jonah Hill, also stars in this classic comedy, but his character is pointless in the film. He definitely wasn’t needed and doesn’t offer anything funny.
Surprisingly, Russell Brand’s performance is very good. He plays what seems to be a sex-obsessed singer to the best of his ability. He throws in a couple of funny moments when trying to teach a guest at the resort how to make love to his wife. Amusing stuff.
There are times where the humour disappears and the serious part kicks in. For instance, when Sarah and Peter (at different times) have flashbacks of one another, it is romantic.
Jason Segel’s performance is undoubtedly one of the best in this rom-com. Kristen Bell is a good actress but she doesn’t ooze that funny factor as much as the rest of the cast.
Overall this is the best comedy around for ages. It is a must see for anyone that loves a laugh and that doesn’t mind the occasional nude scene. It will have you in stitches throughout some of its best scenes.