STORY BY ERIC DEUTZ
I love the 21 century. Truly. I love that I live in a world where the three highest-grossing comedies of the year (so far) are female-centric films involving actors and writers who, you know, actually know how to be funny (“Spy,” “Trainwreck,” “Pitch Perfect 2”) and that people are choosing to spend their money on these rather than the competition: male-centric “comedies” involving actors and writers who think that being famous gives them the right to insult our intelligence by asking us to pay money to see their films (“Ted 2,” “Pixels,” “Get Hard”).
This week, I finally got the chance to add $8 more toward the box office success of “Trainwreck”. This was also my very first experience with comedian Amy Schumer (“Inside Amy Schumer”), who both wrote and starred in “Trainwreck”, her first film.
Knowing that she’s best known as a sketch comedian, I expected the story to be somewhat disjointed and clunky here and there. What I didn’t expect? Just how hard I was laughing throughout.
“Trainwreck” tells the story of Amy Townsend (Schumer), a woman who grew up with a father who drilled the three most important words a child can hear from their parent into her head from a very young age: “Monogamy isn’t realistic.”
Now that she’s a 20-something magazine writer in the big city, the stability of her personal life lives and dies by that mantra. She hooks up with plenty of guys, but while he’s planning their wedding, she’s just planning the easiest way to get him out of her apartment before he gets too cuddly (notice the nice little swapping of gender roles there?).
Of course, that all changes when she meets Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), a good-hearted, dorky sports doctor she’s been asked to interview for her latest article. Naturally, they hook up. Naturally, he wants more than that. Not so naturally… Amy just might, too.
If there’s one thing Amy Schumer understood in the production of this movie, it’s that everybody loves a good celebrity cameo: Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei, Tony Romo, Amar’e Stoudemire, Matthew Broderick, Method Man and SNL favorites Pete Davidson and Leslie Jones probably have a combined 6 total minutes of screen time – but they make it worth it. Of course, the biggest surprise of the night absolutely goes to LeBron James (yes, that LeBron James), who, playing himself and a good friend of Dr. Conners, steals every single scene he’s involved in.
In the end, the story doesn’t flow as well as it may have. Although the movie does have heart, the emotional climax of the film hardly feels earned. And, of course, not every single joke lands. But that’s the risk you take with comedies, and in the end, this is one hell of a funny movie.
It doesn’t surpass Spy in my standings for best comedy of the year, but it leaves me nothing but excited for what Schumer’s next step will be. “Trainwreck” is coming to campus via Free Movie Friday later this month – make sure you don’t miss it.
Speaking of which… This week’s Free Movie Friday is “Amy”, a documentary that’s being called a “riveting,” “sad” and “powerfully honest” look at the tragic life and death of Amy Winehouse. Expect tears.