Trainwreck Director: Judd Apatow
Screenwriter: Amy Schumer
Cast: Amy Schumer, Tilda Swinton, Bill Hader, John Cena, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, LeBron James, Dave Attell, Vanessa Bayer Universal Pictures
Rated R | 124 Minutes
Release date: July 17, 2015
Does Judd Apatow get paid by the minute? Is there any other logical reason – aside from wanton smugness – that his films are chronically overlong? After seeing his latest comedic effort, Trainwreck, I had to consult IMDb to see if the 124-minute film did, in fact, employ an editor.
Turns out Trainwreck had three editors: William Kerr, Peck Prior, Paul Zucker. I’m not sure what this trio was hired to do, however, as it appears nothing was left on the cutting room floor. Like This is 40 and virtually every other Apatow film, Trainwreck is woefully bloated – even if it is wildly funny.
Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer) stars as a magazine writer who has made promiscuity her credo. Ever since her adulterous father (Colin Quinn) drilled into her head that monogamy isn’t realistic, Amy has enjoyed a life free of commitment and inhibitions.
While writing a profile about straight-laced sports doctor Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), Amy finds herself falling in love. For the first time in her life, the concept of a monogamous relationship seems not only plausible, but preferable.
Written by Schumer, Trainwreck blends the comedian’s subversive feminism with Apatow’s penchant for dramatic comedy. The result is a surprisingly conventional romantic comedy that is hilarious in fits and starts, but burdened by clichés. Schumer delivers some foul-mouthed, fantastically offensive laughs, but Apatow dulls the sharp humor with his own signature brand of self-importance.
Still, Trainwreck works thanks to Schumer and the incredible cast around her, including Tilda Swinton and Brie Larson, as well as Vanessa Bayer, John Cena, and LeBron James.
Funny, genuinely charming performances from Cena and James are bright spots, while Brie Larson provides an emotional punch to the family drama with her sister (Schumer) and their ailing father. What’s most interesting is that this is a cast filled with familiar faces, but they’re all doing something different than what they’re known for. Tilda Swinton is playing a character straight out of The Devil Wears Prada, while LeBron James (aka America’s Sweetheart™) plays Hader’s overprotective best friend. It’s Schumer, however, who brings it all together with a star-making performance. This is her Knocked Up.
All things considered, Trainwreck is a very funny movie worth seeing for Schumer’s unique voice, even if it is muddled by Apatow’s presence. It’s bloated and overlong, but there’s plenty of good stuff if you’re willing to dig through the excess. If anything, Apatow’s film will expose the mainstream to Schumer’s Comedy Central sketch show, where the comedian is doing her best work right now.