By Gary Murray
Starring Amy Schumer, Bill Hader and Colin Quinn
Written by Amy Schumer
Directed By Judd Apatow
Running time 121 min
MPAA Rating R
Selig Film Rating—Cable
Amy Schumer is a stand-up comic who is known for having a dirty mouth. The ides is that the audience is shocked by a pretty young girl saying filthy things is nothing new, just new to this generation. Like most stand-up comics, they see the art form as a stepping stone to other works. Amy’s first step toward a bigger career happens with Trainwreck, her debut feature
The film is very much a twist on the old Doris Day/Rock Hudson romantic comedy. But where Doris was the virginal catch and Rock the romantic lothario, Amy is very much our promiscuous cad and Bill Hader is more of the romantic virgin. The idea of the woman being he aggressor and the man a naive is probably a truer representation of life than it is in cinema.
We see Amy (Amy Schumer) with her father (Colin Quinn) the person that she more identifies with. He is a hard living SOB who doesn’t seem to care about any thing more than his Mets. The problem is that Amy has followed his lead. She has a boyfriend but also has a plethora of one night stands along the way. When confronted about this, she takes a very blasé attitude about all the affairs.
Amy works as a writer at a magazine and is assigned to do a feature on a doctor Aaron (Bill Hader). He is to do a major operation on a Knicks Basketball player that could change the team and the season. Amy has a very low opinion of sports Aaron is a doctor much more interesting in the humanitarian aspects of his job than the cash. Though he hangs out with LaBron James, Aaron is a simple doctor just doing his job and operating to “Up Town Girl”…
Aaron and Amy begin dating and the relationship breaks all the rules that Amy has imposed on herself. She does not know how to react to the advances of a decent, normal guy. All of the conventions one expects from a romance are turned upon their heads. As they head down the uncharted path of ‘new relationship’ they still stay within the confines of basic romantic comedy genre.
A film like this only works if one likes the two participants. It is the element that will make or break the work. Bill Hader is becoming the actor that Chevy Chase was striving to attain at the beginning of his career. He is taking the idea of a quirky leading man and forcing his persona into the framework of the project. It is a joy to watch him take charge of scenes while never overacting.
The big surprise is how funny LaBron James can be in playing a role on the silver screen. He delivers funny line after funny line while still playing a character. The scene with him and Hader playing one-on-one is especially touching.
To be honest, Trainwreck is a showcase for Amy Schumer and she surprises as many times as she emotes on screen. One expects the young lady to bring the funny but one is surprised by how many touching moments she brings to this work. There are smatterings of tear-jerking moments that prove she can act dramatic as she can comedic.
Director Judd Apatow is the force behind This is 40 and Knocked Up. While he usually writes and directed his own works, here he was just the director of the Amy Schumer script. By stepping back from total control, he does a better job directing. He also spreads the laughs around, letting just about everybody get a quip and not just Amy.
Trainwreck is much more of a self-reflective to the idea that we live in a noo-commitment world, where singles go from relationship to relationship with little thought of how much it may hurt the other person. Some could see Trainwreck as an incitement of our society while others see it as a reflection of that society. Most will just see it as funny. Yes, it is funny but it may leave a sour taste in your mouth.