by Andrew Brooker (@Brooker411)
Amy Schumer seems to have come out of nowhere in the last couple of years. Hitting the world hard, in the balls, and with her comedy sketch show Inside Amy Schumer she has quickly become one of the go-to comedians for that amazing comedy sub-genre of really wrong and offensive stuff. I love her!
Stand-up comedian Schumer has made her mark on an area of comedy generally filled with shows like Saturday Night Live and has done the almost impossible and broken out more-or-less on her own and has quickly become world famous and world renowned. So logically, her only next step has to be a romantic comedy, right? *Sigh*
Okay, that’s a little unfair. There’s always one or two rom-coms a year that I can stand and they are usually the ones that have something against the norm about them. So a woman who got famous doing sketches where she tries to hide in a closet from a home invading serial killer while having a nervous tick that causes her to fart uncontrollably when she’s scared sounds like the perfect definition of “something against the norm” so I went in to Trainwreck hopeful.
Completely phobic to the idea of commitment, Amy lives a life of serial one night stands and bed hopping. Jumping from one guy to the next, she is far happier concentrating on her career as a glamour journalist and spending time with her family. That is, until her editor (a bizarre and frankly, “nails on a chalk board” irritating, turn from Tilda Swinton) hands her a nightmare assignment; go and interview sports doctor Aaron Conners and put a piece together on his day-to-day life. With less than no interest in sports or the people that play them, Amy sets off on her most mundane job yet and prays for it to be over quickly. But here’s where it all goes wrong for Amy, who must now confront her fear of commitment as she falls for the goofy doctor and doesn’t know how to deal with it.
Trying and failing to make Aaron just another one night stand, Amy must deal with the inexplicable feeling of being happy around somebody and wanting to spend time with them, all while her natural instincts to push them away are fighting to get out and put her back on the path of the straight and single; but the good doctor is far too perfect to just let go of. Amy needs to dig deep and find the will to keep the doctor around all while her propensity for self-sabotage is rearing its ugly head.
Would you like to know Trainwreck‘s biggest problem? It’s a romantic comedy. I know how that sounds, complaining about the genre of a film make no sense whatsoever; until you see it. Amy Schumer’s comedic writing is second to none. She has a beautifully tasteless style that is equal parts vulgar, crass and outright hilarious (see previously mentioned “Horror Movie” sketch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZoUoYF7UZM) that just doesn’t seem to translate well to a film about two people getting all mushy over each other. The movie is essentially Inside Amy Schumer with a Patrick Dempsey movie spliced in over the top of it and when the romantic nonsense shows through, the film just doesn’t seem to feel right. It’s two very different styles and two very different tones that just don’t meld together well. Because of it, each funny scene feels less like a scene from a movie and more like one of a collection of sketches that someone forgot to break up with adverts or stand-up clips.
That said, when the focus is on Schumer and her writing, the comedy is some of the best I’ve seen this year. Filled with hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments, Trainwreck has everything you would expect from a film written by the woman who recently offended every Star Wars fan by posing half naked with their fictional heroes. With dick and fart jokes a-plenty, Schumer has taken more than a hint from those Jay and Silent Bob that Kevin Smith has been trying to imitate for all these years as she turns the filth up a few notches past what your average rom-com audience is expecting.
Those that have seen more than a couple of Director Judd Apatow’s movies will know, that they tend to be a little over long, stretching their laughs far further than they should and sometimes feeling less funny than they actually are because of it. Trainwreck is no different. Clocking in at a little over two hours and in points having worse pacing than the last Harry Potter movie, Apatow could have easily trimmed thirty minutes off of the running time and it would have been a much, much better experience. Jokes would have felt like they were coming thick and fast and the poor story would have run along quick enough for no one to notice how crappy it was.
Trainwreck suffers a little from poor direction and pace but its funny moments are first class and keep the film’s overall feeling a good one, just. A couple of jokes recycled from Schumer’s TV show aside, I was in stitches every time her brand of comedy was present on the screen.
While I’m not sure that While I’m positive that Romantic Comedy isn’t really Amy Schumer’s ideal setting, it’s great to see her and her writing on the big screen and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her stuff in a genre better suited to her style and talents.