Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck is anything but a wreck. It is brought to life by director Judd Apatow – the man who has a laundry list of gems under his belt, including Knocked Up, The Forty-Year-Old Virgin, Superbad, Bridesmaids, and many more.
In true Apatow fashion, he tells a conventional tale in an unconventional way. He uses his mythical powers to rip apart stereotypes and bend clichés. Throughout the movie, he is able to expose the raw humour and melancholy in everyday circumstances.
Amy Townsend, played by Amy Schumer, takes charge as the lead character, making viewers uncomfortable in the best way possible. She is flawed, and it is her authenticity that makes this movie alluring. Amy is able to represent the mess in all of us while still keeping us laughing.
“Monogamy isn’t realistic. Monogamy isn’t realistic.” This is the mantra Amy’s father teaches her nine-year-old character and her little sister, Kim (Brie Larson), to repeat in the opening scene of the film. At this point, he is elegantly comparing their desire to play with many different dolls to why he and their mother are getting a divorce. Gross.
Skip to about twenty years later, and Amy’s character is breaking the fourth wall, “Hey guys. I’m Amy. Don’t judge me fuckers. I’m just a sexual girl, ok. I am fine. I am in control. The key is to never ever let them sleep over.” Her dad’s mantra must have stuck.
As the movie gets rolling, it is evident that this story possess more than just humour. As the scenes bounce back and forth between pensive and funny, the audience is left with a mixed bag of vibes – hilarity, self-empowerment, self-deprecation, and a hint of sadness. The sadness is surprising, realistic, and rarely fully leaves the screen. This could be real life.
In walks John Cena (who plays Amy’s over-the-top boyfriend, Steven) with one of the most awkward sex scenes to ever grace the big screen. This scene is beyond uncomfortable – paralyzing and cringe-worthy. Big Steven really takes on the sensitive role; the majority of his next scenes bring a mix of nonsensical vulnerability and hilariousness. Amy doesn’t take the relationship as seriously as he does, and when they end up breaking up due to Amy’s infidelities, he is quickly outskies.
At first glance, Amy’s job as a writer at a men’s magazine seems exciting, but viewers soon learn that she is unfulfilled by her work there. During a pitching session, Amy expresses her hatred for sports and athletes. Her apathetic, peculiar boss assigns her a piece about just that – she is assigned to interview Dr. Aaron Connors (Bill Hader), a surgeon who works with all the big-time athletes.
Amy ends up revealing her obliviousness and distaste for sports during her first meeting with Aaron. He’s down-to-earth and witty. As he calls Amy out for her indiscretions, he creates charming banter between the pair. At times, Amy’s amusingly childish ways seem to annoy Aaron, but he puts up with her…and even falls for her.
The first time they go out for dinner, their dynamic shifts a little. The focus is put on Amy’s accomplishments – her writing career, dinner etiquette, and intelligence – and Aaron’s slight imperfections. They end up going home together. In a captious and reluctant manner, she breaks her cardinal rule of not sleeping over. To her surprise, it evolves into more than what she thought it would be.
Her relationship phobia continues to reveal itself, which begins as comical, but gradually becomes disheartening as the audience roots for her relationship with Dr. Connors to succeed. She finally goes for it, and the two become a serious couple.
One of the most entertaining characters is LeBron James, thoughtfully played by LeBron James. He delivers a course of hyperbolic humour to the table, which is brilliantly sautéed in an appealingly dry sauce. His close relationship with the surgeon is delightfully highlighted throughout the movie. While attempting to give Aaron relationship advice, LeBron often makes inapplicable analogies. This creates some really funny moments, as Aaron is unreceptive and points out their irrelevance.
Even Amy’s rough-around-the-edges father gets along with Aaron, but her dad fails to support Amy’s desire to have a successful long-term relationship. When her father dies, Amy’s heart is ripped to shreds. It’s apparent that he has always had a major influence on her.
Eventually, Amy disconnects, and her bad habits rear their ugly head. She makes selfish decisions; some are relatable, but some are just hard to watch. Her relationship with Aaron depreciates, and, instead of fixing things, Amy continual pushes him away. To the audience, it is clear they truly love each other.
This movie is jam-packed with unexpected and welcomed cameos. They prevent the piece from becoming dull; for instance, just as things are becoming a little too depressing, a cleverly placed love intervention turns the mood around. Along with Matthew Broderick, Marv Albert, and Chris Evert, LeBron James entices Dr. Connors to come to the gym. As professional tennis player Evert and actor Broderick share the group’s concern for Aaron’s crumbling relationship, sports announcer Albert lively narrates the discussion. This doesn’t bring about resolution, but it is funny.
Amy’s character bravely evolves as she begins to realize her tendencies to push everyone away. After her boss lets her go for almost sleeping with an intern, Amy fights to get her story about Dr. Aaron Connors published – Vanity Fair it is.
The feature becomes the most uplifting when Amy makes an attempt to win back Aaron’s heart by dancing her ass off with the Knicks City Dancers. The set includes memorable numbers such as Uptown Girl and I Think I Love You. It concludes with her face planting into a gym mat, where Aaron comes to her rescue.
Amy Townsend finally reveals her true feelings; it is emotional, heart-warming, and super badass:
I want to show you I can work hard and put myself out there, you know. And not be afraid to fail. Cause with the dance I want to show you like us. I really want to try. I want to try with you. I love you.
At the end of the day, this film is worth a watch. It is both funny and dismal, but what makes it worthwhile is its dedication to authentic character development. This feature is sweet and real, and the audience can feel it.