Friday, 7 August 2015


Universal Pictures

Amy Schumer is so hot right now. Her stand-up shows are sell-outs, clips from her Comedy Central TV show, Inside Amy Schumer, go viral on a regular basis, and she's all over the media decrying sexist stereotypes and defying mainstream expectations of what a female celebrity should be. (And given recent unfortunate events in the US, she's also become an unlikely anti-gun advocate.)

Schumer now brings that same level of crass though sharply-tuned humour and love-me-or-fuck-off presence to the big screen in Trainwreck, a rom-com penned by the comedienne and directed by Judd Apatow (of Knocked Up fame).

She plays Amy, a writer for a men's magazine (S'Nuff), who drinks like a fish, is partial to weed, wears clothes that would seem to be a size too small, and who enjoys an active sex life. But Amy doesn't do sleepovers or repeats, though she is sort of seeing someone (John Cena) but not exclusively which comes as a surprise to him.

Yes, Amy is the traditional male character in this scenario. And the female? That's Aaron (Bill Hader), a sports surgeon who's nice, sincere and a tad on the dull side but whom Amy, upon being assigned by her editor (a shiny-shiny Tilda Swinton) to do a feature article on, falls for (after first falling drunkenly into bed with him).

Yet in spite of the Schumer's brand of humour, and yes, her "non-traditional" leading lady attributes, Trainwreck still subscribes to the rom-com tropes. And somewhat disappointingly, that includes the female character changing for and acquiescing to the male character's ideals.

But before that disappointing denouement, Trainwreck is an hilarious comedy and one of Apatow's better films (although like most of his work, it could still afford to lose 15-to-20 minutes). It doesn't reinvent the genre, but it does announce the arrival of a new comic voice and most welcome screen presence.

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