Film Reviews

TRAINWRECK

By • Jul 22nd, 2015 •

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Not as raunchy as you want it to be. Amy, don’t go the way of Lena Durham and get plastic surgery and a photoshopped Vogue cover. Bill Hader’s voice was like nails scratching a blackboard.

I adore Amy Schumer. I love her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer. I was the town-crier for TRAINWRECK. With the major selling point being “from the guy who brought you BRIDESMAID”, there are expectations to be met.

Then there is Amy’s much talked about two brilliant episodes from Season 3, “Last F—kable Day” and “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer”. In “Last F—kable Day”, Amy comes across Tina Fey and Patricia Arquette celebrating Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ reaching a milestone in her career. Julia tells Amy: “In every actress’ life, the media decides when you finally reach the point when you’re not believably fuckable anymore.”

USA TODAY called Amy’s “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” parody a “triumph.” In the faithful re-creation of the movie’s jurors’ room, 12 male jurors debate whether Schumer is attractive enough to be on TV.

Amy’s champions were ready for TRAINWRECK to be her HANGOVER. Instead, it’s a sweet love story about a young New York woman with a healthy sex life, no hang-ups, and tons of opportunities to meet men she wants to have sex with. The only downside? Amy refuses to get involved. Amy is New York’s “white crow”. And she happens to find the only single guys in New York who want a deep, lasting relationship. Amy has a “sort of” boyfriend, Steven (John Cena). He’s a bodybuilder who considers Amy his girlfriend.

Finally, the anti-Carrie! Amy is demanding, selfish and childish. She might live in a 5th floor walk-up above a Chinese restaurant but she doesn’t live in Queens and she has a “prestige” job: she writes for a men’s magazine. An apartment in Manhattan and a job – she’s golden!

Amy’s life would be perfect if it were not for her problem father Charlie (Colin Quinn), who had to be put in a nursing home. Charlie was a bastard to Amy’s mother and a habitual womanizer. However, Amy adopted his philosophy on relationships: “monogamy isn’t realistic”.

Amy’s sister Kim (Brie Larson) has gone mainstream. She married a nice, ordinary guy, Tom (Mike Birbiglia), and is raising a step-child, Allister (Evan Brinkman), she considers as her own.

At Amy’s job, her boss Dianna (Tilda Swinton) assigns her to do a piece on pro-sports most valuable doctor, Aaron Conners (Bill Hader).

You would think that the man who has saved sports heroes from career-ending injuries would be highly-paid and walk with a god-like air – like Alec Baldwin walked in MALICE or the surgeon who replaced your mother’s hip.

Since, supposedly, Aaron is sport’s savior.

But that’s not Amy’s Aaron. Amy’s Aaron could easily be the manager of a Fry’s. If we were told Aaron’s back-story, it would be that he was the first of his clan to leave Appalachia and wear shoes. His talent for carving up farm animals led to court-ordered school, then – after a scandal involving his high school gym teacher – a fully-financed, career-making education. Aaron’s skill as a surgeon led to a distinguished medical career treating sport’s elite. He even got to fly on a plane with Doctors Without Borders. He wears a bad wig.

Amy believes in sex on the first date and her sexual prowess ensnares Aaron. His best buddy, LeBron James, doesn’t want him to ruin a good thing by being himself. Aaron has been on a long sexual sabbatical.

What will happen? Will Amy proposition LeBron? Will Amy decide to help Aaron perform surgery on Amar’e Stoudemire and accidentally sever his spinal cord? Will Amy fall in lust with one of the Madison Square Garden cheerleaders?

Amy’s supporting cast is terrific. Getting Swinton onboard was fabulous – Tilda can do no wrong – and it was great to see Tilda with her WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN co-star Ezra Miller. “KEVIN” is one of my favorite movies. Larson was wonderful. The sex scenes with Cena and Miller are the real highlights.

There are many things to like about TRAINWRECK, especially the ending.

While James is getting all the praise for his acting – and he is very, very good and deserves all the accolades for his cinematic ease and onscreen charm – professional wrestler John Cena steals all his scenes with Amy. According to Amy, she didn’t write most of his lines. I know “less is more”, but I wanted more James and Cena.

While the director, Judd Apatow, did not give Amy any high-gloss glamor shots, he certainly did not craft her close-ups with the care he gave his wife, Leslie Mann, in THIS IS 40. And, what happened with Amy’s hair? It looks like a random piece of fake hair was glued to her forehead.

Amy Schumer has a genuine charm and displays a strong sense of being pleased with herself. She has a self-satisfied smile. Most young American women are built like Amy and not Megan Fox. Amy can have a movie career if she does not fall into the trap that Lena Durham has set for herself. Will Girls new Hannah, with a slimmed-down nose, defined cheekbones, streamlined body and better hair be as easily accepted as the unkempt, wide-hipped and brazenly naked Hannah? Defiant exhibitionism is what ignited Lena Durham. (Yes, Durham has talent, but since when is talent a requisite for movie stardom?) Will Durham keep her fans now that she has entered into the queue behind Anna Kendrick and Emily Blunt?

Last year producer-director Judd Apatow used Twitter to continually blast Bill Cosby. When Cosby’s supporters jumped to his defense, Apatow delivered the perfect – a future classic – comeback after questioning a Twitter user’s handle: “Also, I am pretty sure I have had sex with less people than he raped.”

Member of Boadcast Film Critics Association: www.bfca.org

Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society:www.lvfcs.org

Victoria Alexander lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and answers every email at masauu@aol.com.

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