Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Movie Review: Trainwreck (2015)

There's plenty to like about Trainwreck. Written by comedian Amy Schumer and directed by Judd Apatow, it's a romantic comedy that has a central formula (the Mismatched Couple) but also includes enough sports, profanity, dysfunction, and one-liners to appeal to a broad audience. "It's the perfect date movie," as my friend wisely concluded.

The "trainwreck" in the title refers to Schumer's character, Amy, a magazine writer who parties hard and lives her dad's philosophy: "Monogamy is bullshit." Assigned to cover a sports medicine doctor (Bill Hader), she discovers a mutual attraction despite her utter lack of sports knowledge or interest. And thus the freakout begins, because Amy has no experience with a lasting/grown-up relationship.

While the plot sounds like it's paint-by-numbers, the movie is saved by the dialogue and supporting characters, including Lebron James, Vanessa Bayer, and Tilda Swinton looking like a modern human (!). *Note: Swinton's presence automatically makes any movie 50% better. Also, the ending is ridiculously cute, in the vein of the late Heath Ledger's singing performance in 10 Things I Hate About You.

The movie also explores the themes of daddy issues and family. Amy's foil is her sister Kim (Brie Larson, aka Envy Adams from Scott Pilgrim Versus the World), who has a sweet husband and a precocious stepson. Schumer and Larson are great as sisters who have made opposing life choices and rib each other about said choices. And that kid (Evan Brinkman) is adorable. If my son does not turn out like him, I shall be very disappointed.

My only "meh" about this movie is the casting of Hader, who's a fine comedic actor but is an odd choice for a leading man. But then, my "yay!" about this movie is having leads who aren't conventionally attractive, so I'll take it. The soundtrack also starts out strong and then becomes forgettable as the movie progresses.

Still a thumbs up movie, though!

TL;DR: Schumer + Apatow = dream team.

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