Men's Magazine writer and hot mess, Amy (Amy Schumer) is assigned the task of writing about a sports surgeon on the rise (Bill Hader) when something unexpected happens; she wants to take it beyond a one night stand and try out an adult relationship. Surprisingly it's actually more conservative than this reviewer expected. From the ridiculous and frustrating coverage in mainstream media and borderline brain injury inducing interviews that Ms Schumer was subjected to on Australian shores, one has a level of expectation that it's going to exceed films like The Sweetest Thing ("I don't wanna miss a thing" sung to dislodge a penis piercing from Selma Blair's throat) or Bridesmaids ("it's coming out like lava"). However, other than a few montages of Schumer's character stumbling out of a one night stand's apartment building, it's a film that is funny in how her character reacts to what's in front of her so that director Judd Apatow doesn't feel the need of making you endure it.
The pacing of Trainwreck does seem to lag, but that's mostly because Schumer is just so efficient at destroying you in concentrated doses; a skill developed largely in creating her incredible award winning sketch show Inside Amy Schumer. The time spent delving into the darker insecurities and self destructive tendencies take some time to create breathing space. But it's really those moments where not only Schumer herself, but the rest of this incredibly stacked cast of great dramatic actors, is able to skate the film into the dark areas that ultimately inspire the comedy.
LeBron James' performance is definitely a highlight of the film but that's largely due to the fact that Schumer has written his part as a wonderfully protective and insecure best friend that's usually reserved for female comedic relief in your standard Hollywood (bullshit) romcom. When it's played by such an intimidating and impressive athletic specimen it's hard not to crack up. Colin Quinn is simply outstanding playing Amy's father. He's cast by Apatow and Schumer precisely to be that ball-breaking comedic persona that he's famous for, which inadvertently makes it all the more heartbreaking when you see him suffering from debilitating disease. Bill Hader doesn't know how to not be great. He's got impeccable timing and he's got the wit to stand toe to toe with Schumer and not be dwarfed. The great surprises of Trainwreck are Schumer's coworkers played by Tilda Swinton, Vanessa Bayer and Randall Park. Swinton is just delicious as the vacuous bitchy editor but you may not recognise her hiding under all of that spray tan and white veneers. And holy sweet baby Jesus Ezra Miller is goddamned hilarious. This is a guy who's about to play Flash in Warner Brothers and DC's new Justice League franchise and he's in an 'R rated' comedy having his nipples played with by the funniest woman on the planet right now; genius.
Finally to the writer and start the film, Amy Schumer. She's universally considered to be one of the freshest comedic voices working right now, and is arguably one of the funniest people on the planet right now, but the real surprise packet is Schumer's ability to open the wounds that ultimately inform her comedy in such sincere and relatable away.
Trainwreck is Amy Schumer front-kicking down the saloon doors of Hollywood mainstream comedy; hopefully the shockwaves inadvertently destroyed the chances of Katherine Heigl working again.
Blake Howard- follow Blake on Twitter here: @blakeisbatmanand listen to legacy audio reviews on That Movie Show 2UE here or on top-rating film podcast Pod Save Our Screen, available now on iTunes.
Directed by: Judd ApatowWritten by: Amy SchumerStarring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, LeBron James, Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, Colin Quinn, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park,
Blake Howard is a writer, a podcaster, the editor-in-chief & co-founder of Australian film blog Graffiti With Punctuation. Beginning his criticism APPRENTICESHIP as co-host of That Movie Show 2UE, Blake is now a member of the prestigious Online Film Critic Society, sways the Tomato Meter with Rotten Tomatoes approved reviews. See his articulated words and shrieks (mostly) here at Graffitiwithpunctuation.com and with DarkHorizons.com & 2SER Sydney weekly on Gaggle of Geeks.