“Trainwreck” is a pleasant surprise for a movie with a name that is just too easy pick on.
Director Judd Apatow, writer, director and producer of “The 40 Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and “This is 40,” as well as the producer of the famed “Bridesmaids” always seems to place himself with successful comedy projects. Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” is no exception. Written entirely by the female comic herself, it is an enjoyable comedy that dances the line between cheesy rom-com and a sports fan’s delight.
The film opens to show Amy and her sister, Kim, as children learning an important life lesson from her recently divorced father: “Monogamy isn’t realistic.” This sets the stage for the rest of the movie as we see Amy pass from one late night encounter to the next, only to regularly revisit her one steady man, Steven (John Cena), though things soon turn for the worst between them.
We then are moved to the men’s magazine she writes for, which prints articles like “How to masturbate at work and not get caught.” This scene is directly followed by a scene of Amy and her co-worker Nikki (Vanessa Bayer) in the bathroom talking about other immature topics. As is now brutally evident, this movie is filled to the brim with bathroom humor which may be a turnoff for most viewers.
Amy is then assigned to follow and interview the famous New York sports doctor, Aaron (Bill Hader). Unfortunately, Amy is completely oblivious when it comes to sports, which is why her editor is so excited to see her take on the doctor. Amy and Aaron are introduced and from there on slowly begin to move closer to each other, a very scary concept for Amy.
This movie has one true weakness in that the first 40 minutes heavily laden with Schumer’s self-deprecating, somewhat childish sense of humor. Anyone debating whether or not to see this movie must ask themselves one simple question, “Can I sit through an hour of her stand up?” If you can tolerate or even enjoy Schumer for an hour then the introduction portion of the film may not bother you at all.
As the top-notch comedy cast is fully introduced alongside Schumer, her script comes to life. She plays off the audience’s perception toward characters and the typical formula for romantic comedies. Her first love interest, played by John Cena, a professional wrestler and all-around tough guy, quickly finds out that they weren’t meant to be. They end up fighting over her juice box of wine at the movies and, after storming out, he leaves her because this extremely muscular man only wants to share his feelings and settle down. Who can’t appreciate the comedy in a teary-eyed overly emotional wrestler?
Every great romantic comedy is almost required to ultimately have some form of falling in love montage, complete with romantic cliches like a picnic in the park or the man picking up the woman as they kiss. However, Schumer’s idea of this concept is to garishly talk over their montage, mostly insulting Aaron and the things they decide to do together. Her writing keeps the movie fresh and keeps the audience on their toes.
“Trainwreck” separates itself from other movies of this genre with some nods to sports fans, who predominately aren’t the romantic comedy audience. These range from Marv Albert commentating on an intervention between disgruntled characters to Lebron James and Amar’e Stoudemire filling major roles in the story. “Trainwreck” is far from your average romantic chick-flick.
No review of “Trainwreck” would be considered complete without talking about Lebron James co-starring role as “Penny Pincher” Lebron, a money conscious version of himself that is absolutely perfect. At times it does feel as though he is reading cue cards that are just off screen, but I guess that is fitting considering the large presence of the SNL cast on set for this movie. Not only is James written to be tight with his money, he also constantly talks about Cleveland. This is exactly how every sports fan secretly hopes he is since his move back to Ohio. Maybe he does it to reassure himself on the move, maybe he is really just crazy for Cleveland, but his spouting continuous random facts about Cleveland is comedy gold. He even takes the time to state his tag line for Cleveland which is, “Cleveland, fun for the whole family.”
All in all, the movie has a light feel and even when the plot takes a turn for the serious; it is never too far from some kind of joke that’s used to lighten the mood again. The bottom line is that if you don’t mind Amy Schumer or you just want to see Lebron James get one step closer to “Space Jam 2,” this movie is worth the watch.