I saw Trainwreck. I went out on a regular date to a regular movie in a regular theater. We ate nachos, drank a Coke, and settled into something I just couldn’t look away from.
By now, you should know who Amy Schumer is. If you’re like me, you knew nothing about her until she was covered in controversy. Suddenly, we were in a situation where female comics aren’t respected and neither are overweight people. Never mind that Schumer’s comedy is surprisingly funny, and never mind that Melissa McCarthy had been winning awards for years before anyone had heard of Schumer.
“What if Ke$ha had become a comedian?” I might have said, if I were comfortable saying that out loud. No, that can’t be it. Every comedian is the “bad boy/girl” of comedy. Even Cosby had a dark side. Maybe its because she has a nerd side? “Nerd sides” are pop culture’s way of saying “its 2015, but I’m still hip!” You’re a nerd if you are more upset that Disney is dropping the expanded universe cannon even though they are for sure bringing up Thrawn in the new movies. You’re not a nerd if you think R2-D2 as a sex bot is risqué.
Amy is unfortunately lost in a world where marketing is king. She can be funny, but her lack of marketing identity means she is forced to grab at everything to see what sticks. And so we come full circle to Trainwreck, written by Amy Schumer.
Trainwreck starts off hilarious. Amy (played by Amy Schumer) is having a flashback of her Father, who is explaining to the young Amy and sister why he is getting a divorce. Colin Quinn plays her father, and delivers the speech much how I would as an alcoholic. “What if you could only play with one doll for the rest of your life, wouldn’t that be unfair?” This prologue sets you up for the rest of the film – one where Amy lives her life fast and loose, but in the end decides her father ultimately wrong and calms her crazy ways.
Wouldn’t that be nice. Trainwreck promises you Bad Santa, but gives you Saving Christmas instead. Amy describes via voice over how promiscuous she is. Shes got rules of course: never let them sleep over. I think that was the only rule. Yeah, she drinks…twice? Well she gets black out drunk once AND SLEEPS OVER AT A GUYS HOUSE! Life lesson right? Well, its in the first 10 minutes of the movie. If I’m counting, hes the 3rd person you meet on screen. Rule #1 already broken – UH OH TRAIN WRECK!!! Nope. Thats its. TITLE SCREEN!
Now that we have all the Trainwreck out of the way, the movie can plod on as a rom-com. Which is fine, ain’t nothin’ wrong with a good rom-com. But how do you get your boyfriend to come see it with you? If you’re Bridesmaids, you rely on comedy and a solid film. If you’re Trainwreck, you pander.
Turns out, John Cena of wrestling fame is her current main boyfriend while she sleeps around. At this point in the movie Cena is the best character. His jokes are self-deprecating, but hilarious at the same time. Of course he thinks really intensely about Cross Fit. Strangely, when he yells out insults it sounds like hes gay. Unfortunately, Cena finds other guy’s numbers listed in Amy’s cell phone. He asks her to commit to his character as much as he did, but she cannot. Cena exits. So now you’re thinking, “man she really needs to get her shit together, Cena was the best part of this movie and now hes GONE!” Right?
Amy, as it turns out, is living her dream working for some magazine in which she is probably next in line for an Editor position. As a writer of a magazine in 2015 in NYC, she’s doing surprising well for herself and don’t need no man. Man things are DUMB. SPORTS ARE DUMB she says.
So Amy is assigned the only sports piece this magazine will cover, an article about a doctor who replaces athlete knees.
That doctor is none other than SNL favorite Bill Hader. He plays a pretty reserved character, a bit more naive than Amy’s character. They go out on an interview that turns into more of a date that turns into sex. Fine. She BEGRUDGINGLY spends the night, and the next day runs off to work. Now the movie is about how Hader wants to win the heart of Amy and get her to commit to something real for the first time in her life. PROBABLY???
To do that, Hader is gonna need the help of his best gal pal, Lebron James. It sprials on from there.
Trainwreck takes a page from every single movie ever, shuffles them, and presents it as original content. If this movie were a “silly” comedy, it would be Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Unfortunately this movie takes itself seriously.
The Mars Attacks’ style cast does their best, but sadly, the screenplay just can’t hold them up. As you watch the film, you get the sense that it was written over the years, piece by piece, maybe with influences of Amy’s real life. Well at least from high school.
So here is the big question. Should you see this movie? Sure. Take your girlfriend out and buy her nachos. It’s a movie built for girls with appeasement for boys, and it does have some laughs. But its not amazing, its not cohesive, and the title is a lie.