If you haven’t already, see TRAINWRECK starring and written by this summer’s “It” girl, comedian Amy Schumer and directed by Judd Apatow. Schumer plays Amy a writer at a men’s magazine and a “pretty-ish” modern chick who does what she wants and is doing fine. She learned at her father’s (Colin Quinn) knee that “monogamy isn’t realistic.” The opening scene is hilarious and what immediately follows is a cavalcade of frisky one night stands, with either Amy or the guy exiting before she or anyone else gets hurt. Until…
…Amy meets Aaron (Bill Hader) a handsome-ish sports doctor about whom she’s been assigned to write a profile; he really likes her, wants to pursue a serious relationship, and the rest of the movie is them working that out. The arc of the tale is not new, but the ground covered is strewn with unusually funny and unexpected performances, among them basketball giant Lebron James as himself and Hader’s BFF, which here means he loves DOWNTON ABBEY and can’t wait to hear all the girly, now apparently “manly” details about Aaron’s new love! The performance is a slam dunk.
Then there’s Tilda Swinton as Dianna, Amy’s boss and amoral compass at the crass commercial rag where they work. Dianna is blunt to the point of death, and has a cynicism that could wither steel. This is a best supporting actress performance if there ever was one.
Schumer and Hader are an exceptionally good match onscreen, he once again proving himself as good a dramatic actor as comedian, and strikes just the right balance with Schumer whose combination of crack comic timing and lurking vulnerability make you love her.
TRAINWRECK occasionally derails—there’s an embarrassingly awkward scene near the end which made me squirm, featuring a few more sports legends who are not all as winning as Lebron off the court. Schumer’s script is the opposite of dainty and showcases her trademark raw observations about modern life, speaking the usually unspoken truth about sex and relationships from a young woman’s point of view. Admittedly, I have a limited appetite for references to messy sexual proclivities, toileting, and tampons in extremis. I just don’t relish those images in my head.
But I absolutely appreciate the impulse for a woman to go there, to break down certain “feminine” barriers, and Schumer’s sensibility is balanced by an uncommonly unsentimental and wise take on what this modern chick fears and needs to learn– and why.
See TRAINWRECK and in the meantime check out the following video a YouTube hit featuring Amy Schumer and her comedic colleagues Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Patricia Arquette with an homage to Sally Field which hilariously skewers the double standards that prevail but may not be long for this world if women like Schumer and company keep piping up—and they do. It’s called “Last F**kable Day.” This is the uncensored version, of course.