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Film Review: Trainwreck

Hey there, long time no blog! What with grad school and yoga teacher training both finally ending, July has been a lovely vacation from….everything. I have done blessedly little besides work, sleep, eat, and binge watch Marvel movies (my husband and I decided to rewatch the entire Marvel cinematic universe in order – we’re up to Captain America: The Winter Soldier).

Coming down off the aforementioned Marvel high and peeling myself off the couch this weekend, I spent a pleasant Sunday with some girlfriends, which concluded with an outing to see the latest Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck. Next to superheroes and Disney movies, funny ladies are my other favorite thing.

Directed by Judd Apatow, the film was written by and stars Schumer, who plays Amy, a woman whose drunken behavior and sexual escapades land her in some awkwardly hilarious situations. In spite of her explosive trainwreckedness, Amy dreams of being a great journalist and tries her best at her job at a second-rate gossip magazine. When her colleague Bryson (Randall Park) pitches an idea to profile LeBron James’ (as himself) orthopedic surgeon of choice Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), Amy’s editor (Tilda Swinton) demands that Amy take over the article. Aaron and Amy meet, have a one-night stand, and a romance blossoms under the concerned guidance of LeBron.

LeBron has a heart-to-heart with Amy

LeBron has a heart-to-heart with Amy

The film has been compared to Bridesmaids, Apatow’s previous women-in-comedy hit, but Trainwreck doesn’t go quite as far as Bridesmaids. It’s fun to watch, the endless celebrity cameos keep it fresh, and both Schumer and James exhibit some surprising range, but there’s nothing we haven’t already seen girls do in Broad City, and two hours of the same jokes (She has sex! She drinks too much! She has more sex!) gets a little grating. It largely lacks the creativity of Bridesmaids, and indeed, of Schumer’s own hilarious Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer. 

Then, of course, there’s the takeaway: Amy sobers up, commits to her man, and opens up to the idea of maybe having a family one day. The moralism of it all might disturb some viewers, which, whatever. I expect a romantic comedy to end that way.

But I can’t help wondering: what makes Amy such a trainwreck in the first place? What leaves her in such dire need of fixing? All her frivolity takes place off company grounds and off company time. At work, it is Amy’s boss who is the (hilariously nonsensical) nightmare, not Amy. Through it all, Amy tries her hardest to do her job well and to promote peace within her family. Apparently, non-monogamous sex and extracurricular drinking make a woman a trainwreck. (Slight disclaimer here: the movie conveniently skims over exactly how much Amy is drinking, although in one scene she is rebuked for accepting a second glass of wine at a luncheon). Amy’s worst moments come only when she in the throws of heartache, and who among us hasn’t done things we regret in those moments?

But perhaps I missed the subtleties. I was, after all, drunk.

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