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)