“Trainwreck” (written by Amy Schumer, directed by Judd Apatow) is being hailed by many as breaking the rom-com mold, a cinematic milestone for female storyteller, and other grandiose superlatives, and they’re not wrong, but first and foremost, this is a great movie.
I’m all for praising super-talented women for being super-talented human beings, but let’s stop acting surprised when a story about and told by a woman is enjoyed by men too. Please?
Okay, moving on…
“Trainwreck” includes just about every cringe-worthy, 90’s rom-com trope you can think of. Amy (Amy Schumer) works at a magazine, has an appropriately perky work friend (Vanessa Bayer), is dating a super-buff guy (John Cena), and entertaining an endless parade of one-night stands. Okay, so maybe not exactly the formula we’re used to, but the basic structure is there.
Our first moments with Amy, are with her and her younger sister on the day their father (Colin Quinn) moved out, and explained the perils of monogamy—a lesson that Amy has carried with her to adulthood. She’s a hot mess, but in the best way.
It’s not until she’s assigned a story on sports medicine, and meets sports doctor Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), that she starts to see the appeal of monogamy—an idea that she resists to comic effect.
There are moments that are a bit cruder than my own sensibilities cared for, but at its heart this is an honest and realistic story about love and life told in a tongue-in-cheek style that is refreshing and touching (I cried…twice…while laughing). That’s how I would sum up this movie, it will make you cringe, cry, and laugh, sometimes at exactly the same time. Call it a rom-com mold busting triumph if you must, what’s most important is that it’s a great story.
One last thing, because I couldn’t possibly write a review of this movie without praising LeBron James. So many of the reviews I’ve seen praise LeBron James for his performance in this movie, and I totally agree, he was great as Aaron’s friend, but I have to give props to Amar’e Stoudemire. His appearance is brief, but hilarious.