Anyone who’s at all familiar with her successful TV sketch show “Inside Amy Schumer” would have had a good idea of what to expect from “Trainwreck”. What they might not be expecting is the unexpectedly sweet core of the movie as Amy tempers her provocative and anarchic comedy style with some genuine character driven romance and a sprinkling of autobiographical authenticity.
Amy, a writer for a Men’s magazine, enjoys a carefree, party-hard lifestyle thanks to some advice she received as a child from her embittered father during her parents’ divorce. Drinking too much, smoking weed and sleeping around despite being in a relationship, she believes she’s living the good life. When her editor Dianna (Tilda Swinton) assigns her to write a profile of sports doctor Aaron Connors (Bill Hader), Amy reluctantly agrees despite her utter lack of interest in sports. When Amy’s father needs to be moved into a care home and as her hedonistic lifestyle starts to impact her relationships, she finds unexpected comfort in a burgeoning romance with Aaron.
“Trainwreck” may have the structure of a fairly conventional romantic comedy but it finds its uniqueness in combining Schumer’s sharp and boisterously black humour with Apatow’s knack for tweaking the character-driven comedy of relationships. Schumer is adorable, sexy, smart and above all very very funny as the leading lady of this realistically romantic comedy. There’s a wonderfully playful chemistry between her and Hader’s Dr Connors, made all the more refreshing by the story being firmly from Amy’s point of view. The pathos underpinning the comedy from the storyline regarding Amy’s father’s failing health and her relationship with her sister is nicely counterbalanced by the quirky and self-deprecating appearance of LeBron James as Dr Connor’s best friend while the rest of the cast is fleshed out by some appealing performances from Alison Brie, Tilda Swinton, John Cena and Randall Park.
Schumer’s sketch writing background occasionally makes itself felt as the script moves from discrete set-piece to discrete set-piece with only a tenuous connection to the plot and the ending feels a little bit rushed compared to the rest of the movie but the overall effect is still that of a witty, fresh and energetic comedy with a wickedly vulgar and defiantly taboo-busting sense of humour.