Thursday, July 16, 2015

Trainwreck: Movie Review


Too many sex jokes almost derails this very funny romantic comedy.
Trainwreck opens with a perfect setting scene where a father explains to his two young daughters that he's divorcing their mother. Monogamy is not real and used a metaphor with the young Kim's doll. Why play with one doll when you can play with multiple dolls? And why can that first doll tell you which dolls to play with? Don't all dolls deserve to be played with? Younger sister Kim seemed to understand, but it was older sister Amy who took the advice to heart. 2015

Directed by: Judd Apatow

Screenplay by: Amy Schumer

Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader

Thirty years later, Amy (Amy Schumer) is living a very unconventional life. Pretending to be in a relationship with a guy she doesn't like, while having one-night stands with many guys she also doesn't like. Meanwhile Kim (Brie Larson) is married to a man and is step-mother to his son. Amy thinks Kim is the crazy one. Did she not learn anything from their drunk, alcoholic, racist, homophobic, grumpy, old father? Amy thinks this is a suitable role model.

It was a very sex-filled opening. Many of Amy's sexual encounters were shown, and many were trying to draw a joke out for much longer than necessary. A few were funny, particularly Amy's fake sleeping or Steven's (Amy's not-really-a-boyfriend) inadvertent gay references. But these scenes would not be funny without Amy Schumer. The crass quotient has been taken to a higher level than I've seen in any recent comedy and surely there are much better ways to establish that she's a slut.

Luckily the movie is led by Amy Schumer who comes across as a funnier version of an ordinary girl. Her character is sluttier and more emotionally-retarded than an ordinary girl but that's all just a front that she's subconsciously created for herself so she doesn't get hurt, but instead she's going to end up exactly like her lonely, hate-filled father.

The romantic comedy storyline takes awhile to develop – clearly in an effort to not get compared to that much-maligned genre. Some scenes are funny, like Amy and Steven watching the new Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei movie called "The Dogwalker” where – wait for it – Radcliffe stars as a dogwalker. It's an arthouse black and white movie where they have long conversations about walking dogs serving as innuendo for developing a relationship. If an indie filmmaker doesn't start developing this now, I'll be disappointed since this movie has already written a few scenes for them.

The movie spends a lot of time at Amy's place of work. A magazine dedicated to crass, stupid articles where they get to make more crass, stupid jokes. And anybody other than Schumer who's trying to be funny in this office, just isn't. Although Ezra Miller (who I actually thought was a young Ezra Miller look-alike) played his young intern to perfection and earned a few subtle laughs while everyone else around him went horrendously over-the-top.

Thankfully it's time for the romance with Bill Hader and comedy with his best friend LeBron James. Hader doesn't get a whole lot to do, but he does serve as a good pairing for Amy to learn how to have a real relationship. But even better is LeBron James playing himself to hilarious results. Celebrities adopting negative personas of themselves are always good for a laugh, but here he's also just trying to be a good friend.

The ups-and-downs of the relationship are handled well, and Amy is always good for a laugh, or two, or three, or a hundred. Especially when the unathletic Amy attempts to dazzle alongside professional trampoline dunkers. Trainwreck really finds its groove once it accepts that it is a romantic comedy, but it does have too many overrated sex jokes padding its over two-hour run-time.

Similar Titles:

Bridesmaids (2011) - Apparently, women swearing really is funny to everybody.

Ted 2 (2015) - Crasser doesn't always equal funnier.