As he’s done plenty of times elsewhere, Judd Apatow assists another comic realise their vision with Trainwreck, written by star Amy Schumer and promoting her from one-to-watch to must-watch status. Apatow directs with an almost invisible hand (one notable exception being his inability to deliver a comedy under two hours), leaving Schumer centre-stage throughout to hilariously dissect modern sexual mores, men’s magazines, and, more poignantly, parental/sibling relationships.
Well, for the first half of the film, anyway. From there, Trainwreck becomes an increasingly conventional rom-com and, if you’re not a fan of the genre, squanders some of the massive quantities of goodwill generated by the brutally honest comedy displayed elsewhere. Another way to look at Trainwreck, though, is that it’s one of the more unconventional rom-coms around, thanks to its ribald sense of humour and atypical lead.
Does it really need to go into its third act by separating Schumer and her romantic partner Bill Hader and serving up a saccharinely-soundtracked “we’re sad and apart” montage? Probably not. But we definitely don’t deserve the complete repudiation of Schumer’s hard-partying lifestyle that follows, something already unnecessarily seen in Apatow’s man-child-grows-up films.
What’s a rom-com without familiar tropes though? While they could have used some prodding here, you’re better served by Amy Poehler-Paul Rudd piss-take They Came Together for a comedy ripping into rom-convention. What Trainwreck offers is a star brimming with confidence, a script full of often outrageous laughs, and a cast that sees strong supporting work from Brie Larson, Vanessa Bayer, and the ever-awesome Tilda Swinton in absolutely fabulous mag editor mode.
This is Schumer’s film though, a star-making turn that carves out a distinct niche from her contemporaries, male or female. She can crack jokes, she can emote. Maybe she doesn’t do sports, but that’s about it.
‘Trainwreck’ movie times