Trainwreck (2015)

30 Aug

Director Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, This Is 40) brings us his latest comedic adventure with the feminist-tainted Trainwreck. Written and starring comedian Amy Schumer, Trainwreck tells the story of Amy, an immature, self-obsessed, alcoholic trying to find love among a surplus of one-night stands.

After seeing her parent’s relationship fall apart, Amy decides the life of monogamy isn’t for her, and thus spends most of her nights with a variety of detached sexual encounters. “My rule is: never to spend the night”, she quips. A young journalist by trade, Amy is given a lead feature about a talented sport’s doctor’s (Bill Hader) recent work with the NBA. Of course the two end up falling for each other despite having complete character incompatibility, and now Amy must learn to grow up and face her fears of settling down with someone for the long term.

Schumer, mostly known for her work in stand-up comedy, makes a convincing enough entrance into the acting world and brings a lot life to her deadbeat and offensive character. Her and Hader create interesting on-screen chemistry, and the scenes featuring the couple getting to know each other are some of the film’s best.

Unfortunately, they don’t last long. Most of the film is too busy trying to negotiate between Apatow’s and Schumer’s differing comedic styles, resulting in a finished product where the jokes really don’t land and instead fall awkwardly flat on their face (sometimes literally). The supporting characters are lifeless and uninteresting comedic tropes; so dull not even the ensemble of Colin Quinn, Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, Brie Larson, and LeBron James (yes, you read that right) can provide relief. Useless cameos of Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei, and Matthew Broderick, while good intended, feel uncomfortable and stale.

And then you face the issue of the story itself (or lack thereof) facing a whopping 2+ hour running time, which, (saying as how most audiences will predict how this thing plays out after the first 20 minutes) feels tragically unnecessary. Most of the film feels like a mishmash of random deleted scenes played with direct voiceover exposition; there is a particular lunch exchange between LeBron and Hader that goes on for way, wayyyyy too long. Little is done here to create an actual dramatic story, which is an absolute necessity when the comedy wears thin.

Bottom Line – More cringeworthy than comical, most of Trainwreck tries too hard to make you laugh by awkwardly combining jokes from Apatow and Schumer. 

Rating: 4/10 

Film Recipie: She’s Gotta Have It  – any artistic sensibilities + Space Jam

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