Trainwreck Might Be The Year’s Best Comedy.
Director: Judd Apatow.
Writer: Amy Schumer.
Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Lebron James.
Playing At: Wide.
Trainwreck, the latest from Judd Apatow and courtesy of a sharp script from Amy Schumer, is far from its namesake. It might be the year’s best comedy.
Amy Schumer, so thoroughly skewering anything and everything on her sketch series, brings her ribald persona to the screen here like an unapologetic middle finger to the cutesy Kate Hudson-esque romantic comedy leads that have dominated the romantic comedy genre for so long. Better yet, she’s never less than winning as her character Amy, either — even when making questionable choices.
In somewhat of a role reversal to the umpteen sex comedies we’ve seen, Amy this time around is the one with an endless parade of partners, not to mention a cushy job at a men’s magazine. Her latest assignment? A profile on the well-respected but dull sports doctor Aaron Connors (Bill Hader).
While you can probably see where this is going, Trainwreck smartly delays the meet-cute and adorable new-couple montage packages for as long as possible. No, Trainwreck can’t help but be at least something of a slave to rom-com convention, even despite its R rating. It’s all included here: There’s a big fight, an uncomfortable party scene and a major event that gets ruined.
But the Amy character just keeps on self-deprecating the whole way through. And that’s what saves the film from those trappings. Neither Schumer nor Trainwreck is afraid of getting dirty, either. And, like, really dirty at that. No lie, this might be the filthiest movie Judd Apatow has directed — and that’s saying something. On more than one occasion, your mouth will be agape: Did she really just say that?
Well, yes. She did. More power to her.
And props to the ensemble behind her, too. The cast is simply unbeatable. There are sidesplitting moments from Jon Glaser, Dave Attell and especially Tilda Swinton. And, yes, LeBron James is hilarious here, too, playing a tightwad version of himself. Even better is John Cena, playing Amy’s on-again, off-again quasi-boyfriend, a CrossFit junkie with a heart of gold.
Of course, since this is an Apatow movie, there’s also an undercurrent of sadness. Colin Quinn plays Amy’s dad Gordon and offers up an incredible performance. Confined to a wheelchair in an assisted living center, he’s a ball of regret and bitterness that arms himself with insults and humor to mask his pain. That’s OK. It’s kind of the idea, actually. Trainwreck kicks into high gear when it’s grappling with growing pains and family resentment, asking questions without easy answers: At what age should you stop partying frequently? Is it wrong to be more excited about your family member’s biological kid than her adopted son?
That a summer comedy is even trying to do something more challenging than what the general public has proven itself willing to already accept is worthy of praise. But Trainwreck pulls its efforts off, too.
This is a full-steam-ahead comedy that takes time to pause and appreciate the drama in life, too.