Trainwreck: Review

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“Too much intimacy, love overload!” – Trainwreck

Amy is a Trainwreck.

Amy (Amy Schumer) shrieks as she is being group-hugged by her sister Kim (Brie Larson) and family. When she was nine years old, Amy’s dad Gordon (Colin Quinn) gave his daughters a message in the midst of divorcing their mother: “Avoiding intimacy and monogamy is the way to survive.”

Amy took the message seriously, despite him being an offensive racist, homophobic misogynist, yet funny, despite all that.  Trainwreck takes us through Amy’s failed very short term relationships, apparently semi-autobiographical.  Full of good dialogue, and laugh-out-loud funny, the film has enough depth to take Amy’s self-realisation, endearingly assisted by Aaron (Bill Hader) seriously.  Trainwreck is Schumer’s first film screenplay where she also holds the title role, and is one of the best romantic comedies in years and has good odds at the Golden Globes.  Yes, the trainwreck is Amy, something she does face up to.


In his recently released book of conversations with comedians ‘Sick in the Head’, Judd Apatow includes an interview with Schumer: “…I was blown away by how funny and intimate and fresh she was.  You could sense that she had stories to tell and was a lot more than just a comedian.”  Apatow, also instrumental in bringing Lena Dunham to the public, in his role as executive producer of Girls, champions young comedians, from his first TV series Freaks and Geeks to Knocked Up, Bridesmaids and This is 40.  His casts are always entertaining and well-selected, featuring people he has wanted to work with and comedians he has admired.

Criticised for being a touch too long at two hours, Apatow seems to be going for every laugh he can get and I loved it all.  A scene with cameos by LeBron James, Chris Evert (Lloyd) and Matthew Broderick although slightly where-did-this-come-from awkward, steers the focus away from the stereotypical nutty female character, to a balance where the male protagonist can’t seem to work out relationships either.

Amy Schumer answering the question on why her humour connects with people, really sums up the film in her response: “Just the feeling of losing all your confidence and feeling like you’re worthless because of how other people are treating you.  And then having to realise that the real issue is actually how you’re treating yourself.  I think that’s something most people have experienced, feeling like they don’t deserve love.”

Highlights were Tilda Swinton as Dianna, Amy’s editor at the lad-mag S’NUFF; Basketball star LeBron James playing himself, a well-buffed friend looking out for Aaron, the easygoing sports doctor superstar who befriends Amy; and the honest eulogy Amy presents. The mixture of truth and humour brought to you by Schumer and Apatow.  A fantastic combination.

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An Australian who has spent most of her adult life in Paris, Louise is a sometime photographer, documentary-maker, writer, researcher, day-dreamer and interviewer, who prefers to start the day at the local cinema’s 9am session.



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