Coming from a guy who isn’t the biggest fan of Amy Schumer and her comedy, I went into ‘Trainwreck’ with an open mind and was ready for a few good laughs. Once the movie was over, I was glad (and lucky) that Trainwreck didn’t live up to its title.
While ‘Trainwreck’ wasn’t bad, it wasn’t really all that great either. The length was the first mis-step this movie took, with a run time coming in at just over 2 hours when all the movies plot required was 90 minutes.
In the first 30 minutes we get to know our lead character Amy (Schumer, playing a satirical version of herself) and the countless drunken and awkward sexual situations she gets herself into. While this provided a good launch into the film, the schtick wore off fast and the proceeding jokes started to fall flat and didn’t muster much of a reaction after her character had been introduced. Unfortunately for Schumer, the raunchy humour is all she had up her sleeve for this role. This led to the film feeling like it dragged on longer than its 2 hour run-time, since it lacked any real momentum when no jokes made any impact. However, Schumer’s tired humour gave other supporting characters a chance to become crowd favourites.
A personal favourite character of mine was Amy’s boss Dianna (Swinton) whose razor sharp attitude and cut throat management skills combined with her terrible people skills resulted in some truly excellent one liners. She made one particular statement that resulted in gut busting laugher from my cinema, but I won’t say anything more about it to avoid spoiling it.
Something that I noticed the movie did well, was how it flipped the romantic comedy character archetype on its head (something Apatow has mastered). Usually with movies of this type, it’s the male lead who sleeps around but changes his ways when he falls for the right girl. Very few movies have reversed the roles well. ‘Trainwreck’ does this effortlessly and is one of the strongest reasons this film stood out more to me than others of its type.
2011s ‘Bridesmaids’ is the latest movie that comes to mind when I think of a similar setup where this role reversal was pulled off.
While the film was successful at being a dirty comedy, it didn’t exactly make much of an impression or stir enough laughter to make it a memorable one. Schumer’s leading lady debut has given her a good start in comedy films, but whether it will last depends on if she can branch out of the raunchy comedy she seems so comfortable in.
Aside from a few awkward jokes that don’t quite land and a bit of a dragging run time, ‘Trainwreck’ is the right kind of comedy that turns out to be surprisingly sentimental, but you definitely wouldn’t want to watch with mum.
Rating: R16 Sex scenes, sexual content, drug use & offensive language.
Reviewed by: DAMO