Saturday, December 26, 2015

Movie with Abe: Trainwreck

Directed by Judd Apatow
Released July 17, 2015

Amy Schumer had a great year in 2015. Her Comedy Central show won an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, and she was nominated as a lead actress in a comedy series. In July, she made a successful transition to film with a starring role in the comedy “Trainwreck,” which she also wrote. Teaming up with Judd Apatow, director of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up,” creates the opportunity for plenty of R-rated signature comedy in this film that takes a while to get started but manages to inch its way towards endearing over the course of its very long runtime.

Schumer stars as Amy, a commitment-phobic journalist who was taught by her father at a young age that monogamy and relationships just don’t work. Amy is seen conking out during sex with a random guy – a ruse to end the effort early – and trying to navigate repeated dates with an oversensitive lug humorously played by wrestler John Cena. When her insane boss (Tilda Swinton) urges her to step outside her comfort zone to write a story on sports featuring Aaron (Bill Hader), a kindhearted sports doctor, Amy has to confront the reality that maybe a normal relationship is just what she needs.

The nature of the humor in “Trainwreck,” which scored a Golden Globe nod for Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical, is best described as irreverent rather than crude, though there is some of that to be found too. Aaron’s role as a sports doctor brings with it regular appearances by the likes of LeBron James and Amar’e Stoudemire, basketball players parodying themselves, as well as a handful of other celebrities who pop up over the course of the film. There’s a lot assembled into this comedy, which clocks in at over two hours, and though that runtime is pretty standard for Apatow, it feels like the film goes on forever, with the better second half moving along more quickly than the first. Those who like Schumer will probably enjoy this film, and it’s clear that she’s capable of anchoring a movie. Hader, who has graduated from “Saturday Night Live” and gone on to score a handful of film roles, is very entertaining opposite Schumer, and Brie Larson, who starred this past year in “Room,” is one of the more capable and funny cast members as Amy’s sister. This film’s title prepares its viewers for a mess, and that’s sort of what this movie feels like for a while, until it ultimately becomes the romantic comedy it was always meant to be despite Amy’s best efforts.


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