Monday, July 20, 2015

Review of "Trainwreck": Drunk in Love With Amy

Amy Schumer made a name for herself with her comedy act that's "mostly sex stuff" but also her TV show on Comedy Central that says a lot about women and our perception of them. It recently scored several Emmy nominations.

But can she conquer the big screen?
That's a job that's tough for a female stand up to conquer. With the help of director Judd Apatow, and her own script that she expected some other actress to follow, Schumer has a winner with Trainwreck, about a party girl who's really thrown for a loop whe she falls for a surgeon played by Bill Hader. 

Amy plays a writer for a men's magazine who has a wild personal life. She learned early in life from her dad, Gordon (Colin Quinn), that "monogamy isn't realistic". That's why her life is mainly druken one-night stands. She has a semi-steady played by John Cena (yeah, THAT Cena). Seeing them have sex, much less seeing John showing a LOT of skin, is worth the price of admission. He's also going to be in Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, so he's got a future in movies.

She has a sister, Kim (Brie Larson), who has married and also has a stepson who Amy thinks is a bit off. They discuss putting their dad in a home because of his MS condition. He's about as brash as Amy is. 
At the magazine, she works for Dianna, who is really played by Tilda Swinton who apparantly copied her look from Alison Janney.

She assigns Amy to an interview with Aaron (Hader), a sports surgeon who works on the top athletes, even Lebron James. Amy is surprised to find herself falling for Aaron, and hopes she can put her party girl past behind. Her old demons, however, threaten this love story.

Even though Schumer is best known for her bawdy humor, she does well in quiter moments, like when she gives an interestng eulogy, and admits to sis that she's got to make some changes.

What's also surprising is LeBron's scenes with Hader. Seeing Hader try to score against the NBA all-star is very funny, but so is this scene when LeBron compares Cleveland to Miami. Even Apatow said he was impressed. Maybe LeBron ought to go back for a second stint at hosting SNL. 

As I mentioned at a Rifftrax review, Norman Lloyd, who's been in TV and movies literally forever, is also in this movie as one of the older patients at the nursing home. At the age of 100, he is as sharp as ever.

Trainwreck is much more than Inside Amy Schumer, the movie. It's a fine look at a girl was given really bad advice about men by her dad, and learns to overcome it. Some may be puzzled by the end, where there's an intervention that features people you wouldn't expect. However, the final scene was cute, and it was a given there would be a happy ending somehow.

Let's hope the success of Trainwreck gives Schumer lots of chances to show she's more than just a party gal. With this movie, she's off to a great start.

Oh, and there's a very funny spoof on pompous indie movies in general with a former boy wizard and the new Aunt May. maybe that can be expanded to a movie or at least a Funny or Die bit,

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