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Trainwreck

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The Scoop

Sometimes you just know you're not the intended audience for a given film, and with Trainwreck, I knew. I'm not really a fan of Judd Apatow, don't understand the Amy Schumer phenomenon, and generally don't find broad humor related to all things crass or taboo very funny. However, I did find myself occasionally laughing, and the story itself is actually kind of sweet.

Our Review

Thanks to her father (Colin Quinn), Amy (Amy Schumer) has spent almost her entire life believing that monogamy is for suckers. He basically sat her down and told her as much, left her mother, and proceeded to lead a self-centered life of screwing around. Somehow Amy's sister, Kim (Brie Larson), came away with the opposite take on life and the impression that their father was kind of an asshole. She's settled down with a stable husband, a sweet stepson, and a baby on the way. Meanwhile, Amy just sort of carouses her way through life with a devil may care attitude, thinking she's beating everyone to the punchline. Unfortunately, more often than not, Amy is the one stepping on people's feelings and acting like an insensitive ass. She sleeps around without telling her boyfriend (John Cena) there's no commitment, mocks anyone with traditional values (especially her sister), and doesn't have the patience to converse with her little nephew.

The one place Amy's cynicism is fully embraced is in her work. As a writer for the edgy S'nuff magazine, Amy is in her element, even if her boss, Dianna (Tilda Swinton in an out-of-the-box role that basically makes the movie), is a bit scary and demanding. In keeping with the magazine's irreverent tone, Amy is assigned a piece profiling a top surgeon in the field of sports medicine because of her total disdain for sports. Won't it be funny when her contempt shines through? Except when Amy meets her subject, Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), she finds him strangely disarming.

For the first time in her life, Amy is forced to consider the repercussions of her behavior. She genuinely likes Aaron, and, strangely, he seems not to be playing any sort of relationship game. He actually cares about her. They have a great physical connection. And, weirdly, there's a friendship that's been lacking in all of her previous hook-ups. In short, Amy's out of her emotional depth. Uncomfortable as it is, it's also pretty nice, especially when life itself becomes uncertain. As Amy balances caring for her father (now suffering from MS), increasing demands at work, and the realities of her own indiscretions, having a rock becomes increasingly important.

In some ways, Trainwreck is a charming movie. Bill Hader is kind of a sweetheart who frequently evokes unexpected laughs, and the good-hearted Amy lurking under the foul mouth and wild ways is somewhat endearing. (Okay! I'll admit, I had a little lump in my throat at the end of the damn movie!) What didn't work for me is the amount of time Amy spent being unlikable (kind of the point, I know), and her frequent attempts to "shock". It's the kind of shock that needs air quotes, because it's no more titillating than any other locker room humor - it just seems to be trying a lot harder. At one point she worries about dealbreakers in her relationship with Aaron, something she's never had to think about before. Like, what if she forgot to flush the toilet and he saw? That's funny--a thought that has probably crossed everyone's mind--but what kills it is Schumer essentially looking into the camera, describing at length (and rather nonsensically) just how gross those leavings might be. Sometimes the power in humor comes from subtlety, when something flies at you from left field. Trainwreck often approaches like a baseball bat coming at your face.

SPECIAL FEATURES

The DVD and Blu-ray include the Unrated Version of the film, Deleted Scenes, Line-O-Rama, and Feature Commentary with Judd Apatow, Amy Schumer, and Associate Producer Kim Carmele. The featurette "Secrets of the Wu" finds Method Man and Norman Loyd discussing Wu Tang Clan is also included. Features exclusive to the Blu-ray include More Deleted Scenes, More Gag Reel, Extended and Alternate Scenes, a Behind-The-Scenes Featurette, and featurettes on directing athletes, "The Dogwalker" (the film within the film), and the Trainwreck Comedy Tour. 

Trainwreck (Unrated)

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