Review by Peter Gray
Despite the fact that Amy Schumer’s character in ‘Trainwreck’ is the kind of narcissistic, obnoxious, consistently inconsiderate person we’d all but beg to be seen evicted from our screens, it’s a credit to the star (and writer) of this deliriously funny film that we want to spend so much time with her. Revelling in her own political incorrect-ness, Schumer’s on-screen persona is not far removed from her own nature, and as unapologetic and offensive as the film content is, ‘Trainwreck’ surprises with its honest, sweet temperament.
Clearly a little autobiographical with Schumer’s character named Amy, ‘Trainwreck’ sets up a familiar premise with comedienne playing it void of vanity as she drinks and roots her way through her day-to-day life as a columnist for a Maxim-like magazine (appropriately titled S’nuff). Her latest assignment is to profile a renowned sports doctor (the adorable Bill Hader), a field she has no interest in, but as much as she treats the doctor like every other guy in her life (ie a one night stand) she can’t help but feel drawn to him, and vice versa.
As a character, Amy is far too easy to dislike, but given Schumer’s willingness to strip herself bare (not literally of course) it’s near-impossible to not warm to her; I dare say there’s facets of Amy’s personality and behaviour that nearly everyone can relate to – whether they wish to admit it or not. The actress is fierce and her comedic delivery is flawless (as to be expected) but where she truly shines is when the film veers into dramatic territory with the storylines involving her sickly father (Colin Quinn) and distant sister (Brie Larson) balancing the more low-brow humour moments with an ease.
As is tradition with Judd Apatow productions, the supporting cast is stellar, and Schumer and Hader are impressively surrounded with the most eclectic of talents. An unrecognisable Tilda Swinton is superb as Amy’s snarling Anna Wintour-type boss, basketball pro LeBron James proves a surprise comic gem portraying a heightened version of himself, and wrestling personality John Cena comes close to outshining them all as one of Amy’s many suitors; the musclebound star wearing his heart on his sleeve as his penchant for always saying the wrong thing earns some of the film’s biggest laughs.
‘Trainwreck’ may not break any new ground in terms of formula but when it adheres to its rules so well by delivering genuine laughs on a constant rotation, there’s very little to complain about.