Trainwreck: Not An Actual Trainwreck
It’s Not a Schumer!
By Megan Burbank – @meganireneb
Here’s fun drinking game to play while watching, oh, ANY romantic comedy: Take a sip whenever you see (1) a girl reporter in the big city, who, despite working in print media, you never see actually working (or, okay, crying because her freelance check is late), (2) shots of the New York City skyline and environs, (3) ladies wobbling like sad baby woodland creatures in heels that are too high, (4) feuding sisters, and (5) no lovers’ spat that can’t be immediately fixed by a song ‘n’ dance number and/or other grand gesture.
I just described every romantic comedy of the last 20 years or so (excepting those made by Nora Ephron, who is perfect), and here’s the bad news: All of these wackadoodle flourishes also appear in the Amy Schumer/Judd Apatow vehicle Trainwreck. It pains me to write that, and true Schumer fans should take heart: I’m with you. As far as I’m concerned, she’s is a national treasure, so it’s weird to see her sharp-edged humor dulled by a movie that essentially hews to a classic boy-meets-girl-plus-problem format. I would probably have preferred just to watch 125 minutes of Schumer’s stand-up.
The good news is that there’s still a lot about Trainwreck that’s worthwhile. Schumer gets in some good digs at sanctimonious attitudes toward ladies without children, and some jokes at the deserved expense of publications like Vice and Gawker, and it’s heartwarming in a delightfully mean-spirited way to see shoutymouthed Colin Quinn appear as Schumer’s movie dad. Bill Hader does endearing like only Bill Hader can. And if LeBron James is nothing like the version of himself he plays here—reciting Kanye West lyrics and talking a LOT about his feelings—I really don’t want to know. As a romantic comedy that sneaks in a lot of vaguely offensive humor, Trainwreck is solid. It just isn’t much of an actual trainwreck.