It feels like it is almost a legal requirement that I make the effort to see a couple of comedies in the cinema every year. Trainwreck marks comedy number two after I saw Spy at the beginning of the summer. If I see a third by the year’s end I will have set a new personal best. It’s not that I don’t like laughing and frankly I think I am hilarious but more often than not romantic comedies are the most consistently disappointing genre in film. Trainwreck caught my attention due to its mildly amusing trailer but it was the internet buzz surrounding Amy Schumer that made me want to check the film out. On another day the buzz would have had the opposite effect.
PLOT: Amy (Amy Schumer) is a reasonably successful writer living a wine and sex filled life in New York City. After meeting Aaron (Bill Hader), a handsome surgeon, Amy falls for him. When their relationship starts to get serious Amy must decide whether or not she is ready to commit to a monogamous relationship. END PLOT.
I find romantic comedies boring as they tend to be unashamedly formulaic. After a dramatic argument the couple in question always has a happy ending following an even more dramatic reconciliation at an airport or train station. The genre offers nothing that I want to see so when I do amble into the cinema to watch a romantic comedy it’s because someone in the cast has caught my attention and on this occasion it was Amy Schumer. Whenever a new comedy actor appears on scene I assume that the janitor left the stage door open on the Saturday Night Live set and an actor wandered out the exit by mistake. I quite naturally assumed that Amy Schumer was part of the SNL herd but it transpires, during some basic recon of IMDB, that she isn’t.
Amy Schumer wrote and starred in Trainwreck and I was surprised by how quickly I warmed to her. Schumer is clearly intelligent and her quick wit comes through effortlessly. Despite playing the straight character and allowing some of her other cast mates to have the bigger laughs Schumer is entertaining, and thankfully, she can handle the emotional moments just as easily. Bill Hader more than holds his own and he and Schumer make for a great pairing. I thought Hader was the best part of Trainwreck and I am surprised by how many of Hader’s films I have seen but can’t remember him being there.
The strong supporting cast of Brie Larson, Tilda Swinton and some tall dude called LeBron James all played their roles well and brought some chuckles. You will find out who you really are as person by the length of time it takes you to recognise Gold Digger. Trainwreck does have some good laughs but I was surprised that some of the funniest moments came in the opening section courtesy of John Cena. The humour is pretty consistent and is helped by the genuine likeability of the cast.
My biggest problem with Trainwreck is the length as it clocks in at just over two hours. I found myself willing Amy and Aaron to have their big argument so we could motor on to the bigger reconciliation segment which was, rather refreshingly, not at a station for public transport. I was never bored but if the film was a good half hour shorter I would have loved it all the more.
Trainwreck turned out to be a great watch and I can finally put a face to the name of Amy Schumer. Schumer has my full attention but with my lack of interest in comedies I think she will have to do something else to keep it. Trainwreck gets a very well deserved 8/10. A definite DVD purchase.