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Review - Trainwreck

By midlandsmovies, Aug 11 2015 12:36PM

Trainwreck (2015) Dir. Judd Apatow

The new film from Judd Apatow (40-Year Old Virgin & Knocked Up) is a quirky new romantic comedy featuring the funny talents of Amy Schumer in a film of entertaining relationships and slapstick emotions. She plays Amy (natch!) who after her dad’s divorce as a child, is introduced as an adult fan of one-night stands in between her work as a jobbing journalist at a low-brow men’s magazine. The first 20 minutes are a bit of a slog to get through in all honesty.

Her boss Diane (an unrecognisable Tilda Swinton) is all mouth and English “gob” whilst my disappointment of the last few American ‘comedies’ I had seen appeared to be playing out again. My sensibilities lie with Four Lions, Alpha Papa and Edgar Wright’s films for decent and ingenious laughs whereas the American comedies often interpret ‘edgy’ as more jokes about j*zz. Hilarious.

However, the set-up is brief enough and we are introduced to Amy’s current squeeze Steven, played by ex-WWE wrestler John Cena. His gym-obsessed (and strangely camp) boyfriend role cuts through the clichés like a knife with Cena himself putting in a great performance. His bedroom dirty talk of “you want my protein” and “there’s no ‘i’ in team” and orgasmic-face was the beginning of many laughs for me.

Fighting against the fact it always wants to revert back to obvious s*x-jokes – her dad, now in a home, complains the residents are at it day and night (“it’s like Caligula in here”) – the film then moves away from that to focus on her current assignment which is to interview sports doctor Aaron (played by Bill Hader).

When relationship issues with her pregnant sister and her father in his home begin to take their toll, Amy breaks her no-staying-over rule and begins to fall for Hader’s likeable everyman - who by his own admission at James Franco’s roast often plays “best friend asking an exposition question”.

The film also has a whole host of cameos including a brief glimpse of Daniel Radcliffe in fictional film “The Dogwalker” and basketball superstar LeBron James, who has a surprisingly huge part as Hader’s confidant

Hader is a perfect sensible foil to Amy’s wackiness as the c*m/sp*rm/load jokes spew forth over the film throughout. Amy slowly has doubts thinking she will mess it all up and gossip of her reputation precedes her as tragic family news and a fall-out with her sister begin to put pressure on her life with Aaron.

I am not too familiar with Schumer but her performance is both heartfelt and ‘ballsy’ as she puts in a great acting turn showing the struggles of dealing with her own self-doubt in a testing couple. The film’s setting amongst basketball (a sport I’ve loved since the 90s) really helped me engage and the inclusion of stars and commentators was a nice touch and gave a unique and relatable (to me anyway) theme to hang the movie on.

It’s definitely not a rom-com reinvention as all the traditional beats are there – the long drawn out courtship, the break up, the rekindling, the best friend advice and careers getting in the way – BUT, much more importantly, it FEELS fresh. And to this jaded reviewer, that was crucial given some of the clichés presented.

But with enough new twists, great comedic (yet sensitive) performances from the stars, support and cameos, you could do a lot worse than check out this film which shows more than promising developments in the careers of both Schumer and Apatow. Certainly no train wreck of a film here.


Midlands Movies Mike

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