The Modern American Comedy Done Right
Trainwreck (2015): Having thought that monogamy was never possible, a commitment-phobic career woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy.
First off, I need to get something off my chest. Judd Apatow is satan. He is the main reason why most comedies today are visually and creatively lazy, and why most comedies today think they can be lightly edited improv and still be good films. He's the main reason modern American comedy is in the biggest funk we've seen from the genre in, well....ever. Whew! I feel better now. That said, it's good to watch this style of lightly edited improv straight from the source, because Apatow realizes that the improv shouldn't dictate the movie. A good story should dictate the movie, and Trainwreck has a really good story to go on top of some really good and lightly edited improv. So, let's jump into it shall we?
First off, let's talk Amy Schumer. Kudos to her, because in addition to being the lead she also wrote the screenplay for this film. She and Apatow share a connection, one which I really want to see again. Now, my experience of Amy Schumer is very limited. I have not watched her on Comedy Central, short of a few videos on YouTube, however I have watched enough of her in interviews to know she is hilarious. However fans of the series, from what I've been told, will be surprised to see that Schumer is very....restrained in this film. This film is a straight-up rom-com, guys. A good rom-com, but still a standard rom-com. Only this time it's from the female perspective, and not the male perspective. However, outside of Amy Schumer, the female of this film are somewhat limited. Brie Larson does a decent job with what she's given, but she's not given much. SNL alum Vanessa Bayer is completely wasted in her role, and Tilda Swinton is just a, well, a not-so-nice person for no real reason. And Chris Evert shows up in a bit that falls flat on its face when it has absolutely no reason to. Least given the talent that's in that scene. But that's all the female roles in a film who's main target audience is women. Ya sexism is totally dead now, right?
Moving on from that depressing bit, let's brighten our day by talking about men. Yay! Cough cough.... So the men of the film are outstanding. First off, Bill Hader. Another SNL alum, Hader has officially found himself a niche. He was outstanding last year in The Skeleton Twins (he was number 7 on my of Best Performances in my First Annual Awesome Actor Awards last year for this performance, by the way) and he is once again charming as ever here. However, it's Lebron James who steals the show. Yup. Lebron James. And I do not like Lebron. At all. But if anything is obvious about me yet, it should be that I love it when people make parodies of themselves in film. I love it so much aoweiaobnrwertyvq! That's exactly what Lebron does, delivering some of the best gags in the film and almost even stealing the show from Amy Schumer. There are several other cameos, including one that I don't want to spoil that shows up in a film the characters watch which was the greatest thing ever, that are hilarious and beautiful. Ultimately, that's the highest compliment I can give a comedy: it's hilarious!
So, besides for the fact that there's absolutely no editing, or cinematography, or anything else commendable from a technical standpoint, what else does this film do wrong? Well, it's too long. Clocking in at ridiculous 125 minutes, this film could've really benefited from having about 20-30 minutes shaved off. Certain gags go on way too long, and there's just too much fluff in the film to keep the pacing where it should be. That's all the complaints I have, but they're pretty damning. If only directos Judd Apatow and Edgar Wright got together and co-directed a comedy starring Amy Schumer and Simon Pegg, and have Nick Frost be the main supporting actor. Oh. My. God. I am ready to throw all kinds of money at that film. Get on it, Hollywood!
The Critique: While visually lazy, Trainwreck delivers exactly what it should: laughs, tears, and awwwws. 2015's best rom-com yet.
The Recommendation: You hear that, fellas? This has date movie written all over it. You hear that, ladies? Can you say girls night out? Because I sure can. Actually I can't. Because I'm a guy. Riiiiiiiight.....
Rewatchability: Moderately High
The Verdict: 7.5/10 Somewhere Between Good and Great
..........I love Bill Hader.
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