Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews
Trainwreck | Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Colin Quinn, Tilda Swinton, Brie Larson, Bill Cena, Lebron James | Review
- Category: Jacqueline Monahan
- Published on 17 July 2015
- Written by Jacqueline Monahan
Las Vegas Round The Clock
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for Lasvegasroundtheclock.com
Trainwreck | Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Colin Quinn, Tilda Swinton, Brie Larson, John Cena, Lebron James | Review
You won’t hear the word trainwreck mentioned even once, but you’ll know without a doubt who merits the title.
Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer) a journalist for a glossy, questionably hip men’s magazine (not porn, just male-centered) reluctantly takes on a sports medicine assignment with unintended romantic consequences.
She has a terrible role model in her father (Colin Quinn) a racist homophobe who left her mother to play the field when Amy and her sister (Brie Larson) were children. He explains it to the kids in doll metaphors. “You wouldn’t like to play with just one doll your whole life, would you?”
Amy grows up to play with everyone, never letting them stay overnight, never being faithful, never contemplating marriage or kids. At all. Ever.
Then Amy’s magazine editor and boss (Tilda Swinton) a tragically hip, British national, assigns the sports-hating Amy to interview Dr. Aaron Conners (Bill Hader). A self-centered, promiscuous drunk most of the time, Amy panics when this charming, worthwhile guy falls in love with her and wants (gasp) commitment.
Amy’s a one-night-stand kinda girl, a drink-too-much kinda girl, a never-stay-overnight kinda girl. Panic ensues. How will she handle a shot at commitment? Not well, and the film shows us her humorous conflicts, her fumbling faux pas, and her many, many missteps in the newly discovered universe of monogamous relationships.
For complete contrast, Amy’s sister Kim is married, pregnant and the mother of a stepson, a lifestyle that’s not even in the same universe as her sibling.
The plot pits Amy against all of the forces of stability, respect, sobriety, and monogamy. You know she’ll resist until the last 20 minutes give her an epiphany, and when it does, it’s revealed in the most ridiculous scene of the film (even more ridiculous than a nipple-licking scene with a 16-year-old intern),
Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) directs with a script by Schumer that satisfies both of their need to spread F-bombs like napalm on unsuspecting villages of movie patrons. Even a funeral speech is fair game. There’s a pretty fair helping of grossness as well (tampon jokes, strategic washrag placement on an erection, inappropriate anecdotes at baby showers). Funny? Of course. Just not terribly clever, or difficult, or original.
The film can be sweet, humorous, and (always) vulgar. An intervention scene seems spliced in simply to feature Chris Evert, Marv Albert, and Matthew Broderick. It falls flat and probably would have worked better as a dream sequence (as would the phony, disappointing ending.
Lebron James (playing himself) makes a great straight man and John Cena’s small role as a gym rat hurt by Amy’s wild ways shows some acting chops. Bill Hader’s character is so sympathetic it’s hard to understand him falling for Schumer’s shrew of a girlfriend. Schumer herself is likeable enough with precise comedic timing in some instances and uncomfortable silences in others.
The film runs a bit long (122 minutes) and disintegrates into a rom-com despite its crude and raunchy launch that establishes early on that women can be irresponsible, selfish bed-hoppers who booze it up just like their male counterparts.
Yay, girl power! I think.