Trainwreck Review

Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow have proven to be the best collaboration since peanut butter and jelly. Although marketed as simply a raunchy rom-com for all us single ladies, Trainwreck proves to have much more heart than that. Yes, it is a genuinely hilarious ‘grab your stomach because it hurts from laughing so much’ type of movie, but it’s also an empowering film that takes conservative values and brutally beats them to a pulp. In the honest and blunt fashion we’ve come to expect from Schumer, Trainwreck takes what I call the ‘man-child genre’ (think Seth Rogen in Knocked Up) and flips it on its head to champion, not condescend, the girl who just can’t seem to get it together.
Amy Townsend, both written and played by Schumer, is an exceptionally three-dimensional character who you can’t help but fall in love with. At 30, she gets drunk most nights, smokes pot most mornings, sleeps around, and avoids real relationships – but isn’t presented as a social reject. She has a great job as a writer, has a positive relationship with her complicated family, and isn’t dependent on anyone but herself. What is refreshing about this film is that instead of the demeaning portrayal of similar female characters we’ve come to expect from past movies, the film’s objective isn’t to challenge what she is doing, but rather why she is doing it.
The movie opens in the ‘80s as child-Amy and her younger sister Kim are being lectured by their father (through a semi-creepy metaphor about dolls) about why monogamy isn’t realistic. It then flashes forward to present time and we become familiar with where current Amy is in life. It becomes evident very quickly that Amy has a severe case of trust issues, has self-destructive tendencies, and actively works to avoid emotional intimacy of any kind; her golden rule being “never spend the night.”
Once that is established, we are then introduced to the driving force of the plot – a profile for her magazine on sports doctor Aaron Connors (Bill Hader), which, surprise surprise, turns to romance. Admittingly, this aspect of movie is pretty standard and – spoiler alert! – after a turbulent relationship they still end up together. And even when the third act turns a bit cliché, it never regresses to preach that she was broken and that a guy swooped in to save her like the damsel in distress she never realized she was – rather, it simply says that sometimes it’s okay to let people in.

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Trainwreck Review: Photograph couresty of Universal Pictures

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