Thursday, July 28, 2016

Now on HBO: Trainwreck (2015)

Trainwreck (2015) - Directed by Judd Apatow; Written by Amy Schumer; Starring Schumer, Bill Hader, Lebron James, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, Tilda Swinton, John Cena, Dave Attell, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, John Glaser, Ezra Miller, Mike Birbiglia, Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei, Pete Davidson, Tim Meadows, Method Man, Tony Romo, Amar'e Stoudemire,  Matthew Broderick, Chris Evert, Marv Albert, Leslie Jones.

By Kenny Howell

It's hard for a comedian to adapt their shtick to a feature film.

At times, the movie almost seems to pause so the comedian can get through their joke so the movie can resume again.

Trainwreck definitely has those moments. Amy Schumer's brash comedy fits well into the film, which is pretty much molded from her routines, but it does get lost in it from time to time.

That's not to say the film doesn't work as a whole. Judd Apatow, who has now made a living off of bringing the best out of comedians, and shaping their stories into well-formed, occasionally touching films, does the same for Schumer. Her story is basically of her the character she plays in her standup, which I am sure is an exaggeration of her. She drinks too much, does drugs, and sleeps around quite a bit. The reason in the film is that her dad sat her and her sister down when they were younger and told them that monogamy just doesn't work. Amy, whose character shares her name with the comedian, takes that to heart, while her sister, Kim (Brie Larson), does not. Kim settles in and gets married, while Amy sees seemingly a different guy every night, all while dating a body builder (John Cena) who is terrible at sex and smack talk, which lead to two of the funnier scenes in the movie.

Amy writes for a misogynistic type magazine that features stories about how to talk your wife into a three way, and you're not gay, it's her fault. Her next assignment is to write a piece on a doctor who has performed surgery and tons of big name athletes. The doctor, Aaron (Bill Hader), is best friends with Lebron James, and is well-respected by nearly everyone in the business.

Amy completely falls for him and doesn't know what to do with it. It goes against everything she has ever felt about a man, and she battles that throughout the film, growing up and learning how to accept your feelings or really let yourself be loved and work through a relationship.

Like a few of Apatow's movies, it does go on a tad too long, but also like many of his movies, it is quite good. He is good at getting the right talent and letting them take over the film, which he definitely does here. The surprise of the movie was Tilda Swinton, who plays Amy's horrible boss. She was nearly unrecognizable at first, and she is brilliant in a role, kind of a straight comedy role, that you usually don't see her in. Some of the cameos seem a bit much, but some work, and it is enough to keep the film going and let Schumer showcase her talents.

Trainwreck is now playing on HBO.

Rating: ***

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