|Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in Trainwreck.|
Schumer wrote the film, which begins promisingly as her character Amy as a young girl (Devin Fabry) is being schooled, along with her sister Kim (Carly Oudin), by their father (Colin Quinn), who is explaining his leaving of the family by firmly stating that monogamy is simply not a realistic way to live. Flash forward to her mid-thirties as Amy Townsend (played by Schumer), now a journalist, has taken his advice to heart, unlike her monogamous sibling, regularly sleeping with many guys, usually after having drunk too much, and then discarding them the next day. She does have a boyfriend of sorts, gym buff Steven (John Cena), but when she is assigned to interview a noted sports doctor Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), against her better judgment she starts to fall for him and begins to deal with the reality that he may be the One and promiscuity is not for her.
That’s an unfortunate plot point – it would have been nice for a change to see a Hollywood romance that doesn’t trod the predictable and well worn path of extolling monogamy, with a happy ending that we’ve seen time and time again, to diminishing emotional effect. It doesn’t help that the movie is so juvenile and fixated on cheap laughs, as in the unnecessary suggestion that Steven is an unaware, closeted gay guy, with unfunny salacious inferences to that fact, as it’s doubtful that savvy Amy would not figure that fact out. And the endless jokes about Amy’s actually being a closeted romantic herself, as she strenuously objects to those ‘aspersions’ run out of comic steam quickly since we know where this movie is going.
|Tilda Swinton in Trainwreck.|
Ostensibly, Trainwreck is directed by Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), who has become less enticing with each film he does, but I won’t fault him for this specific failure as he’s really just a director for hire helming Schumer’s maladroit comedic vision. There are a few funny bits in the film, usually revolving around Tilda Swinton’s turn as Amy's pretentious British editor, doing her best impression of Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous, who isn’t really interested in hard journalism but in celebrity fluff she can sell to the men who read her magazine. And while LeBron James has fun spoofing his basketball star persona, the best of his jokes, involving his addiction to Downton Abbey, is already part of the movie’s trailer so you can watch that and skip the film.
And if you do want to see a worthwhile, rewarding romantic comedy, even containing the conventional upbeat ending where the opposite types find themselves together, I can recommended so many superior movies, including Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda in The Lady Eve (1941) and the pairing of Cher and Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck (1987). In their bright cinematic light, the comically pale, washed out Trainwreck simply doesn’t compare.
LIFE Institute, where he has concluded a course entitled A Filmmaker/A Country. The course looked at various great filmmakers (Akira Kurosawa, Francesco Rosi, Jafar Panahi and others) who have come to represent their country, at home and abroad, simply because they evince a deep curiosity about what makes their homeland tick, in terms of its people, its history, and its interactions with outsiders and their influences. He is currently teaching a course on documentary cinema at LIFE Institute.