Movie Review: “Trainwreck” – Could’ve Been Better

Written by Caitlin Cooper August 20, 2015

trainwreck

If you’ve been on the internet or watched TV in the last few months, you’ve probably heard of Amy Schumer. She’s the latest popular up and coming comedian who seemingly came out of nowhere, and now she’s everywhere. She even already has her own TV show, called “Inside Amy Schumer”. So with all that hype about how hilarious she is, “Trainwreck”, her first lead in a film, has been much talked about in the comedy world. But does this film live up to its hype?

“Trainwreck” tells the messy story of the irresponsible Amy (Amy Schumer), a woman who’s career is on the rise but not necessarily in the way she hopes. She also happens to be afraid of being hurt by men so she shuns traditional monogamous relationships. Since her dad’s infidelity led to her parents divorcing, and thanks to his advice to never commit to one person because it’s no fun, she’s had a skewed idea of relationships. When she meets Aaron (Bill Hader), a doctor who’s the subject of her next article, she finds that she actually likes him. Even scarier is that he wants to have a serious relationship with her. Through ups and downs she has to face her fears if she wants to grow and be open to lasting relationships.

“I am fine. I am in control.”

Basically, “Trainwreck” is one of the most bizarre comedy films ever. According to this movie, basically everyone is an idiot in one way or another. Amy’s sexual partners and almost-boyfriends are all ridiculous. And the romance we’re supposed to root for, the one between Amy and Aaron, is frankly kind of flat. What this movie seems to be about is relationships between family, and romantic interests. I think the relationships that it got right are the family relationships. Amy’s dad is a less than stellar parent, but he loves his kids and they love him. Amy’s sister, Kim (Brie Larson), has a a stepson and a baby on the way and she is more mature in some ways because she doesn’t let her fears stop her from having the life she wants.  “Trainwreck” has a surprisingly good and realistic depiction of grief. Amy grieves by lashing out at her sister and her sister’s family, but they make amends and understand each other. But the romantic relationships are lacking. I think a big problem with the movie is that while it seems to aim to say that women shouldn’t be judged for their sex lives, Aaron does indeed worry about Amy’s past. In terms of the comedy, some of it was good – and there were even some more subtle jokes – but some of it wasn’t good. Like the odd dance Amy does at the end with cheerleaders to win back Aaron. That scene lasted way too long and it was weird.

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Much like how the plot of “Trainwreck” is at times random and bizarre, so is the cast. There are surprising cameos by various actors like Daniel Radcliffe and Matthew Broderick that don’t serve the plot so much as provide unexpected touches to the film. Schumer wrote and acted in the film, and while I don’t think the writing was as good as the hype led me to believe, she’s actually a good actor. She can do the sarcasm and dry humour well, and she can also do the more vulnerable and sad scenes like when she delivers her eulogy at her dad’s funeral. Hader is basically playing the type of character he always plays, so there wasn’t much new. Larson portrayed Kim as mature and caring; she was one of the few grounded characters in “Trainwreck”. Tilda Swinton brings cruel humour to the film with her character Dianna, Amy’s weird and cold boss.

“Even my dad likes him. My dad doesn’t like anyone.”

“Trainwreck” has been a hyped film in the comedy world because of Amy Schumer’s rising popularity; however, her debut as a writer and film lead was less than stellar. The film has high points like some of the comedy and it’s depiction of family and grief. But the plot is odd, the romance isn’t believable, and some of the jokes are just weird. Compared with other comedies released this year, like “Spy” and “Pitch Perfect 2”, “Trainwreck” is a let-down.

My Rating: 4.5/10

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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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