I was fortunate enough to win tickets to an advanced screening of this movie: 2 weeks before the movie officially comes out everywhere. I’m no stranger to Judd Apatow’s films and I’ve only recently become quite familiar with the funny workings of rising comedian star; Amy Schumer. “Trainwreck” looks funny but I wasn’t sure just how funny it would be when the trailers first aired; it seems like a story we’ve all seen and heard before and the only difference is this time Schumer is doing it. Still, it’s a free ticket and I’d never turn down a free film so let’s see if I got what I paid for. Amy (Schumer) has been taught from the very beginning by her “role model” father Gordon (Colin Quinn) that monogamy isn’t realistic. So, Amy lived her love life in a montage of one night stands and adamantly opposed to the “boring” romantic/committed lifestyle her sister has.
But when her magazine editor tells her to do a piece on local sports star Doctor Aaron (Bill Hader), he finds Amy irresistibly charming and as much as she wants to deny and fight it…she may feel the same way about him. Apatow’s works have this amazing ability to give you an amusing slice of real life dramas mixed with heaping helpings of raunchy comedy, while at the same time making you feel something heartfelt and genuine amongst the gratuitous cracks involving men and women’s private parts. What’s interesting about “Trainwreck” is that it doesn’t just confirm that Schumer can deliver dirty humor with hilarious ease, but it also shows she also knows how to make you actually care about someone who selfishly sleeps around and ditches men like candy wrappers: namely her.
I was surprised to see how much heart was in this film, it didn’t rely on physical slapstick or dirty jokes alone. If you’re not a fan of Schumer or Apatow then odds are you won’t care much for their comedic collaboration; especially since Schumer wrote the film and its humor is pretty much the same kind of in-the-gutter-gut-busters you’ve seen in her show or Apatow’s past films. It’s a comedic look at a rotten rut of a life being revealed for the ugly beast it is by the chance of accepting a person and a lifestyle most poke fun at. Schumer’s view on sex and relationships is a sadly all too common one shared by 90% of the people who slink up to you in bars or in clubs. We mock people like Hader or Schumer’s sister Kim for having “normal lives” and “normal relationships” because it’s viewed as empty, restrictive and boring.
I actually liked seeing Hader play the straight man in this film. Hader is no stranger to comedy; his work in Pixar’s “Inside Out” was undeniably delightful to say the least, so to see him be the “normal” one here is actually funny and fitting here. I loved this film’s sense of honesty; Amy constantly tries to deny any chemistry is between her and Aaron, even though everyone inside and outside of the film sees it and greatly enjoys it. The drama that inevitably erupts between them is openly acknowledged to be forced due to Amy’s inability to commit; it feels more natural and expected because of that pretext instead of just knowing it’s going to come because of typical scripted clichés. Even Colin Quinn’s obnoxious ass of a father character for Amy found became a weirdly warm emotional experience that I was not expecting at all.
The major complaint with this film is that it is does follow a predictable format; Apatow follows a familiar habit and even with Schumer’s writing, that habit remains unbroken. Not saying that is a bad thing in and of itself but I’m just letting you know nothing groundbreaking will be happening here; just a dirty good time with a lot more heart than you’d think. “Trainwreck” is a great comeback for Apatow’s career (since Funny People) and an even greater launch for Amy Schumer’s. It’s filthy, funny and a combination of being sweetly/darkly romantic in a way that you’ll expect and yet; will still be unprepared for when it hits your funny bone and tugs your heartstrings at exactly the same time.