Directed by Judd Apatow
Starring Amy Schumer & Bill Hader
Review by Monica Jowett
Judd Apatow’s fifth time directing, written by Amy Schumer, Trainwreck is a delightfully romantic sex comedy. Set in a summery New York that makes great use of the city, forming jokes over the nuisance of the Staten Island ferry and the Subway, with references to other New York-set films that place you on familiar ground.
For first time screenwriting, Schumer shows that her unabashed feminist comedy style works well on screen. The simple plot of boy meets girl rom com formula is mixed up and changed, working well under Apatow’s comedy genius directing. What was thoroughly enjoyable was how certain scenes would go off on a tangent, with no effect to the overall storyline. One example, Aaron (Bill Hader) is having lunch with LeBron James (as himself) and arguing over paying the bill. Aaron is annoyed once again to find James has left his wallet in his car. The cute bickering between friends builds the laughter.
Schumer came as surprise to be a brilliant leading lady. She proves how great it is to have a comedienne in a leading romantic role. She is actually likeable as the boozy, pot smoking woman who has strings of one night stands and stumbles around in stilettoes and short skirts. Her comical anecdotes are hilarious and quotable (tampon as bloody as the Red Wedding). However, her acting ability suggests she doesn’t need to always rely on the comedy. Her relationship with her sister (Brie Larson) and father (Colin Quinn) is heart-warming and shows a softer side to the brazen character.
Supporting cast is phenomenal. Bill Hader – not usually the first go-to for a romantic lead but he is adorable and the perfect straight man opposite Schumer, convincingly so. From their first meeting on screen as sports doctor and sports hater journalist it is clear they should be together, and even better that they suit one another. Then there is Tilda Swinton who is unrecognisable as the bitchy English boss of Amy’s and a joy to see in a mainstream comedy like this. There is also Amy’s other eccentric co-workers who match the crass humour of Schumer and the ridiculous magazine they work for. Jon Cena pops up as Amy’s casual boyfriend, who’s stereotyped as the gym guy but clearly in the closet and Mike Birbiglia as the boring brother in law.
Then similar to other Apatow films is the heap of cameos, from sports stars to famous actors and acclaimed sports commentators. These actors show brilliant comedy chops, even when up against SNL alumni like Bill Hader (LeBron James particularly) but it feels as though Apatow has stuffed them in to see what gains the laughs and what does not.
What starts off as a new take on a romantic sex comedy soon falls into a cliché of rom coms, as Amy falls out with friends and family and has to change her ways to get back on her feet. She stops the drinking, proves she is a great journalist and makes a big gesture to prove how good she is for Hader’s hard working doctor.
Schumer’s screenwriting debut is a surprising comedy hit for the summer. Schumer herself is a hit with her unpredictable personality and rapid comic delivery, there is a lot more to come from Amy Schumer.
Watch the Trainwreck trailer below...