Trainwreck opens with one of the funniest scenes of the year thus far. It closes with a scene that is corny, clichéd and sentimental. The whole film, when broken down, pretty much works in the same way: the first act is a brilliant sex comedy, the second act is an above average sex comedy/RomCom, and the third act is a very standard Rom/Com. Regardless, this will always be Amy Schumer’s screenwriting calling card par excellence; no matter what happens to her as a performer, she will forever be able to get a screenwriting gig in Hollywood based on her script here.
This is because Schumer has balanced her naturally subversive sense of humor with the demands of true ruthless commercialism. The movie embraces every cliché any studio boss would demand of her – before even letting them read it. She gave the script to Judd Apatow fully formed, and she remains with a sole screenwriting credit. She prejudged the judges and watered down her own comedy before anyone else could. The result is a film that is 65 to 70 percent artistically inspired and also has achieved quite a remarkable box office, considering that Schumer is not yet a movie star (well, now she is).
As is incredibly typical of Apatow movies, it’s too long and flabby. But the really good scenes are really really good, as is Bill Hader, in his best ever performance, as the romantic interest. This is a RomCom where the girl is the lead, and Amy playing “Amy” essentially plays what we must assume she thinks of herself. My big fear is that she is instantly creating of herself a Woody Allen-style alter ego, and that, unless she breaks away from that pretty quickly, that will be her stock in trade. As we all know, the least interesting thing about many Woody Allen movies is how much the Woody Allen character deviates from previous Woody Allen characters.
Brie Larson is excellent as Amy’s sister, Colin Quinn is also fine as her father – quite a significant part – and her boss is played by someone, sublimely, whom I won’t reveal here. Try not to find out who’s in it before you see it, and let the credits at the end astound you with a classic case of, “Oh my god, that was her?”