“As it turns out, I’m in terrible physical shape.” – Amy Townsend
Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer), is a party girl, the kind who thinks monogamy is an unrealistic goal. But then she meets Dr. Aaron Connors (Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live), a successful sports doctor, and Amy begins to question that philosophy.
Look, let’s face facts, Trainwreck is a romantic comedy — but do not be afraid gentlemen, you won’t want to gouge your eyes out by the end of this one. There’s enough gritty humor, and sports stars to keep your interest, and a decent amount of romance for your lady friend. But let me warn you ladies, this film is not for the faint of heart; it is a rom-com — but it’s an Amy Schumer style rom-com. So if you’re a delicate snowflake, expecting smalzy music and teary soliloquies; oh hon, it ain’t gonna happen.
I usually avoid romantic comedies, because for the most part they’re formulaic retreads with interchangeable parts. Although Trainwreck utilizes a lot of the same plot devices that other films of this genre use, because Schumer isn’t the archetypal female lead, and the story isn’t a conventional romance, it feels like a different kind of romantic movie —and I loved it, because of that difference.
Directed by Judd Apatow (The 40 Year-Old Virgin), and written by Schumer, this film is the kind of romance story I imagine in my head. For women who eschew the romance novels for real life love, with real life people —with all the real world problems that come with being in a relationship. The character Amy is a straight shooter, a genuinely strong person, but the wall she’s built around herself keeps everyone at a distance. The men in her life, and even her sister Kim, expertly played by Brie Larson (21 Jump Street), are kept at arms’ length. Sure she uses humor to mask a deeper hurt, but where that seems contrived in other films, here it doesn’t; and that’s due to Schumer’s performance. Her character is relatable, and down to earth. She is a representation of someone very much like ourselves, or at the very least, someone we know.
What can I say about Bill Hader? Quite frankly, I always saw him as the “forgettable” guy from SNL. But his performance in Trainwreck, and the independent film called The Skeleton Twins, alongside fellow SNL alumi Kristen Wiig, proves that this dude possesses an amazing amount of talent. As Amy’s love interest, he and Schumer have an odd chemistry that on the surface shouldn’t work, but does, and quite spectacularly. They look and feel like a real couple.
Other performances that help to propel Trainwreck past other films of this type are, Tilde Swinton, absolutely unrecognizable, but utterly fantastic as Amy’s narcissistic boss Dianna. Nikki (Vanessa Bayer Saturday Night Live), is the closest thing Amy has to a best friend. An airhead, who smiles like an “idiot” when she’s nervous, and lives vicariously through Amy’s hard partying ways. John Glaser (Parks & Rec) is Schultz, the sexual deviant at the magazine where Amy works. He says some the funniest, albeit most uncomfortable lines in the film. Randall Park The Interview) plays Bryson, is a guy who seems uneasy in his own skin, prone to sulking when he doesn’t get his way. Then there’s, WWE wrestler John Cena who’s wonderful as Steven, a big sensitive lug who believes he is Amy’s one and only —poor fool.
But the standout performance in a supporting role goes to —LeBron James, yes I said LeBron James. You wouldn’t expect such a poised performance, and excellent comedic timing from a man who is primarily known for his athletic skills. But the guy’s got skills on and off the court. Where most athletes look like muscular mannequins in movies, LeBron is quite the natural, and to top it off, he’s funny as hell.
This film hits on all cylinders; it’s funny when it needs to be, serious when the situation requires, and romantic as little as possible. Trainwreck highlights Schumer’s sardonic wit, and has understandably put this funny lady on everyone’s radar.
Trainwreck (Blu-ray) is a 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (1080p) presentation, a fine blu-ray transfer that is just as clear indoors as it is with the grittier New York City outdoor scenes. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio makes it easy to hear the dialogue and enjoy the subtle soundtrack. If there’s any problem, it’s missing some lines because you’ll be laughing so hard. Extras are plentiful in this Blu-ray and DVD release that also includes a digital download copy. In addition there are Gag reels galore, deleted scenes, extended scenes, a few featurettes and commentary by Schumer and Apatow; you definitely get your money’s worth of special features here. Apatow and Schumer prove to be quite a magical combination, and if this film is any indication of the talents that Schumer possesses, she’ll have quite a long film career.
I give it a boozy Not Guilty
Trainwreck (Blu-ray) 2015, Universal, 125 minutes, R (2015)
VIDEO: 2.40:1, 1080p AUDIO: DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English), Dobly Digital 5.1 DVS (English), Dobly Digital 2.0 (English), Dobly Digital 2.0 (Spanish), DTS Digital Surround 5.1 (French)
SUBTITLES: English SDH, French, Spanish EXTRAS: Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Extended Scenes, Featurettes, Unrated Version, Commentary Video ACCOMPLICES: IMDB