Comedienne Amy Schumer’s debut in film starts with a young Amy and her sister Kim (Brie Larson) at an impressionable age eagerly listening to their father, the crotchety Colin Quinn, who in an hilarious attempt to explain divorce teaches them that monogamy is a fruitless endeavor.
Jumping into the present we see Kim – happily married, pregnant and mother to a weirdly precocious step-son whom Amy openly despises – that lesson did not take. With Amy, it was gospel. Schumer stars as Amy the sexually liberated and heart-breaking protagonist who would usually be a guy; a veritable modern day Mr Darcy. Trainwreck, directed by Judd Apatow is a classic Girl meets Boy situation. A rom-com turned on its head. Seemingly she has it all. Sadly though, this is where the story lags a bit.
For instance, an early scene features Amy at her job as a writer for a lad mag—the amusingly named S’Nuff—attending a pitch meeting with her boss (Tilda Swinton) and wacky co-workers. Swinton is the posh, mildly evil editor of S’nuff whom Amy must go to great lengths to impress, a kind of Anna Wintour caricature; and she knocks it out of the park because she’s Tilda Motherflipping Swinton, and not because the writing is really there for her.
The main plot driver is that Anna is assigned to write a story about the charming Aaron (Bill Hader), the sports doctor extraordinaire. A sensitive, romantic, corny character, who, in a typical rom-com, would be cast as a woman.
LeBron James stars as himself as Aaron’s best friend, and he is hilarious. Endlessly supportive and worried about the barracuda-like Amy who threatens to break his friend’s heart. Amy’s writing and blatant humour turn what could be trite and predictable into a very funny and entertaining love story. Many awkward and hilarious situations ensue; and her narration over an all too familiar montage brings a fresh approach to this genre.
Trainwreck is a very funny film with some truly great comedic moments; it definitely gets the audience laughing right from the start. Amy Schumer’s awkward comedic style and honesty make her a refreshing leading lady.
Flipping the all too familiar rom-com formula on its head, while staying true to the genre, Trainwreck ticks all the boxes.
Trainwreck is in cinemas July 30.
By Jen Barter