I remember the first time I saw an Amy Schumer’s stand-up routine. I was disgusted. I thought she was one of those comedians who tries so hard to illicit a reaction that they sometimes forget to leave a window open when they fill the room with their raunch. There is nothing funny about one genital reference after another without a punchline. Fortunately I was mistaken because Amy Schumer, much like the Amy of her first leading role in Trainwreck, voices her stream of thoughts which range from ridiculous to hysterical with more regard for getting through life than for getting a reaction.
Movie Amy is the average 30-going-on-21 woman, emptying liquor bottles and breaking hearts all over the city. The only thing shorter than her relationships are her skirts, which are all lovely middle fingers to people who have called Real Life Amy “chubby.” In fact, the whole movie seems to rage against conventional opinions, but more on that later. Amy works for a soulless magazine and has a string of loveless flings until she meets her next article’s subject, Aaron the Sports Doctor (Bill Hader). Aaron is everything that Amy isn’t – mature, monogamous and magnanimous. They manage to get into an actual relationship with help from a hilariously earnest LeBron James and despite Amy’s commitment issues, which probably stem from her father’s (Colin Quinn) horrifying lecture on marriage that she heard as a child.
Watching Amy drink and date aimlessly in this movie was refreshing; rarely do we get to see a woman in a rom-com be anything but a model citizen trying to get a man to grow up or a stressed out caricature that can’t figure out how to “have it all.” Hader steps into this stereotype with such ease and grace that I wondered why more movies don’t flip the script. He is funny, but takes a comedic backseat to Schumer, James and several characters brought to life by professional athletes and other SNL alumni.
Schumer shines with her deadpan expressions, physical comedy and distinctive brand of gross-out humor, and she manages to make her character endearing and relatable despite the fact that she starts out as a total jerk. Watching her mock her sister Kim (Brie Larson) mercilessly for living a tamer life as a wife and mother should have been more uncomfortable, but everyone was too busy laughing to notice.
The movie, written by Amy herself and directed by Judd Apatow, also manages to seem unique despite the various connections to previous movies in the genre. The Devil Wears Prada had Meryl Streep making her magazine’s employees jump, so Trainwreck has Tilda Swinton making her employees cry. 27 Dresses and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days have already proven that writing an article on someone is a great way to start dating them, and I cannot count how many movies have included the world of professional sports as a backdrop for a love story. Trainwreck is definitely different, however, and is worth seeing for the constant huge laughs and sharp social commentary on modern dating. Consider me an official Amy Schumer fan!
Final Grade: A