REVIEW: Despite the Mets, The Dog Walker & Billy Joel's Uptown Girl, Monogamy Isn't Realistic for Trainwreck's Amy Schumer Until It Is
Posted by James Brown on Sunday, July 19, 2015 Under: 0.03% Wine Coolers
Directed By: Judd Apatow
Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, John Cena, LeBron James, Mike Birbiglia, Vanessa Bayer, Ezra Miller, and Tilda Swinton
Romantic comedies are dying a slow death at the mainstream box office. With just About Time, That Awkward Moment, and About Last Night joining the ranks in the last couple of years, it's clear that tales of blissful romance have gone by the wayside. Every once in a while, we're reminded that this endangered species is still hanging on by a thread. You need no further proof than the arrival of Amy Schumer's Trainwreck. Despite all her controversial promotional activities that have drawn the ire of LucasFilm and Disney, Schumer's first lead performance in a feature film is sweet at its core.
At a young age, sisters Amy and Kim Townsend (Schumer and Brie Larson) are indoctrinated with the notion that monogamy isn't realistic. Of all role models to tell them this, it's their cheating father Gordon (Colin Quinn) using the metaphor of playing with dolls. Fast forward to the present day, and the two sisters have responded to these paternal words of wisdom in very different ways. Kim is married to ordinary guy Tom (Mike Birbiglia) and is raising her stepson alongside him. She's living the life of monogamy against which her father advised. Amy, on the other hand, is has taken her dad's advice to heart. While not committing to Steven (John Cena), the fitness guru she's somewhat dating, Amy has one-night stands with one guy after another (Bobby Kelly & Jim Florentine) refusing to even stay the night with any guy that makes it to the bedroom.
To make ends meet, Amy writes for S'nuff, a rather uppity men's magazine managed by the callous Dianna (Tilda Swinton). She typically writes about unimportant things like stars who have fallen from grace or the ugliest celebrity children. With the possibility of a promotion to executive editor on the horizon, however, Amy begins to tackle more challenging assignments. First, she begins showing intern Donald (Ezra Miller) the ropes. Second, she takes a piece on a subject she loathes, sports. Little does she know that this will put her on a crash course with sports doctor Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), the man who will challenge her to believe in monogamy. She'll also get plenty of exposure to his best friend LeBron James (himself), who is rooting for some love in the good doctor's life.
Trainwreck brings romantic comedies back to the mainstream in a big way. Two people who love each other but don't know how to love each other, a message promoting family life, and grand romantic gestures are all hallmarks of the genre and are all heavily part of the film. Admittedly, this rom com stands on the raunchier side of the spectrum with Schumer in the lead role. Still, it looks like a rom com, smells like a rom com, and barks like a rom com. Unlike our typical romantic comedy, however, Trainwreck satirizes the very fact that it is part of the genre. Whether through abuse of Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" or snippets of the fictional film The Dogwalker featuring Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei, Apatow and Schumer certainly have plenty of fun with the notion of serving up a romantic comedy to audiences.
The film boasts solid performances from its cast. In our lead role, Schumer is everything you would expect her to be. She's nonchalant in her intimate encounters with men on camera. She's comically abusive of alcohol and marijuana. She's playfully charming in many of her moments with her sports doctor boyfriend on camera. All the while, she fails to realize that she’s got daddy issues or that she's bitten by the love bug. All in all, it's a really well-rounded comedic performance befitting this modernized romantic comedy. It's also a delight to see Brie Larson back on the big screen as Amy's sister Kim. She brings a quiet strength and warmth to the role and is the ideal straight arrow. She's the perfect antithesis to Schumer's character and fuels the fire for many comedic setups throughout the film.
For his part as the main love interest Dr. Aaron Conners, Bill Hader delivers the charming, successful guy one would expect. However, his performance is a bit meatier in the sense that he has his own history of romantic failures and a career to maintain. Rounding out the cast, we have some delightful supporting and cameo performances by a number of different actors and celebrities that really amp up the comedic factor including LeBron James, John Cena, Matthew Broderick, and many others. We even have a We Need to Talk About Kevin reunion between Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller as the crazy Dianna and Donald of S’nuff magazine.
In a summer movie season full of superheroes, dinosaurs, spies, and terminators, Trainwreck certainly serves as strong counter-programming for those of us who need a break from the action. It's really a fun romp that delivers the goods. Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow's creative collaboration gets a 0.03% rating. Have some wine coolers with this one. That's all you'll need.
In : 0.03% Wine Coolers
Tags: "amy schumer" "bill hader" "brie larson" "colin quinn" "john cena" "lebron james" "mike birbiglia" "vanessa bayer" "ezra miller" "tilda swinton" comedy romance romantic romcom
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