TRAINWRECK (transfer) review

These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.

Now, I’m not exactly up to snuff when it comes to stand-up comedians today, so I can’t say that I’m too familiar with Amy Schumer’s brand of humor. The only thing I ever saw her in was the Charlie Sheen roast. That was fun, and so was she, but I never saw her again in anything else despite her growing popularity. That is until I saw the trailer to her newest film, TRAINWRECK. The trailer didn’t quite do much for me, but there was enough fun humor to keep me marginally interested. I hadn’t heard anything about the film before going in other than it was written by Schumer, and was directed by the ever-popular Judd Apatow. This wasn’t getting me sold on the movie either, as I am not the biggest Apatow fan either. For me, he’s always been the Quentin Tarantino of comedies. He’s never done BAD work that I’ve seen, but his movies have never been THAT funny to me. That’s probably not saying much because all I’ve seen from him is FUNNY PEOPLE and KNOCKED-UP. But now that it’s out, I decided to go see it in hopes of getting some decent laughs.

Starring: Amy Schumer (SNATCHED [2017], and TV shows INSIDE AMY SCHUMER and DELOCATED) and Bill Hader (POWER RANGERS [2017], FINDING DORY [2016], and INSIDE OUT [2015]). In support: Brie Larson (FREE FIRE [2017], ROOM [2015], SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD [2010], and upcoming films AVENGERS: INFINITY WARS [2018] and CAPTAIN MARVEL [2019]), Tilda Swinton (DOCTOR STRANGE [2016], THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL [2014], and CONSTANTINE [2005]), LeBron James (TV shows THE LEBRONS, TEEN TITANS GO!, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, and the upcoming SPACE JAM 2, due out… who knows when), Colin Quinn (THAT’S MY BOY [2012], GROWN UPS [2010], and TV show GIRLS), and John Cena (THE WALL [2017], SISTERS [2015], THE MARINE [2006], and the upcoming DADDY’S HOME 2 [2017])

Directing: Judd Apatow (THIS IS 40 [2012], FUNNY PEOPLE [2009], and KNOCKED UP [2007]). Writer: Amy Schumer (TV show INSIDE AMY SCHUMER). Composer: Jon Brion (THE GAMBLER [2014], PARANORMAN [2012], and ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND [2004]). Cinematographer: Jody Lee Lipes (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA [2016] and MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE [2011])

(STORY) – SPOILERS

Amy (Amy Schumer) and her sister Kim (Brie Larson) were raised by their father Gordon (Collin Quinn) to believe that marriage isn’t realistic, due to him being a cheating bastard. While Kim grew up believing otherwise, being married with a step-son, Amy on the other hand believed it whole-heartedly. She basically sleeps around with a lot of guys, refusing to sleep over at their place, or them at hers. All the while, she is currently in a relationship with Steven (John Cena), whom doesn’t know that she’s cheating on him. On top of her sexually charged habits, she also works a great job as a writer and is being eyed by her boss Dianna (Tilda Swinton) for a promotion. That will happen if she gets the right article written about sports. Before getting started on it against her will, as sports isn’t Amy’s thing, Steven finds out about Amy cheating on him and promptly breaks up with her. Amy gets started with her first interview with sports doctor Aaron (Bill Hader). It isn’t long before the two hit it off and start a relationship, while also befriending LeBron James (LeBron James). At first things are pretty easy going until things get serious and Amy starts to figure out that she genuinely likes this guy. She gives up having guys on the side and actually wants to keep Aaron around in her life, but no real thoughts about the future. However, her relationship with Aaron and her compromised promotion at work put her in an awkward position to choose between him or work. She chooses work, the two get into their first fight, and ends their relationship. Time goes by for the both of them and neither of them are too happy. In fact, Amy is so unhappy, she gets drunk one day and nearly sleeps with her job’s new intern Donald (Ezra Miller). It’s interrupted when his mother barges in and reveals that Donald is only 16 years old. This act gets her fired from work, but finds the time with Kim to figure out what she really wants in life. In a grand gesture, removing herself from her comfort zone, she shows how much she really wants Aaron back and the two get back together. The end.

(REVIEW)

What an inconsistent mess of a film.

The premise of the film is not the issue. A woman who doesn’t see anything wrong with sleeping around with other guys, using and abusing I think they call it, I have no problem with. The reason, because she doesn’t believe in marriage. Again, no problems here. Here’s where my problems crop up. Why the hell is she in a semi-committed relationship? If all you’re going to do is run around and have sex with other guys, why be with a guy whom you know has feelings for you? She’s pretty shameless about it too. Hell, an argument can be made as to why she even bothers with a relationship at all with Aaron. Where’s the arc where she decides that she really does want to be committed? Oh sure, we get hints from time to time before she meets Aaron, but it’s so underplayed like a minor subplot, even though the point of the movie should be that shunning commitment isn’t the answer, but figuring out what works for you without judging those who would choose different.

And that’s the primary problem with the movie: Amy. Not Amy Schumer, she’s fine, but the character that she wrote… I just can’t fucking stand Amy. As much as she makes fun of her sister for choosing a family life, being a bitch, but as soon as she’s with her father, who is also an asshole, starts telling him to be nice. Really? He’s being an ass to someone and that’s not okay, but you being a bitch to your own sister and her choices, and suddenly you’re untouchable? Amy is far too mean-spirited, to be a likable character. She may have her moments here and there, proving that Schumer CAN be funny if given the right jokes and even does well with physical humor, but as soon as she has to show her personality, it’s all over the place. I want to say that’s the point of her character, and hence the movie’s title, but it comes off as awkward and doesn’t connect very well. Nothing is really explained as to why she really acts the way she acts and why she constantly contradicts herself. Amy makes no sense, and not in an entertaining way.

About the only characters that make sense are the ones that AREN’T Amy. Hader’s Aaron makes sense. He’s a nice guy, smart, practical, a little bumbling when faced with sex, there’s no shift in character. Granted, there’s a scene toward the end that causes a fight between him and Amy that seems unreasonably out of the blue, but every proceeding that characteristically made sense. There could be an argument that he’s too bland, but since the the movie centers on an inconsistent badly written character, I’d say bland is a step up. Larson’s Kim makes sense too. She’s married, has no regrets. She has a step-son, has no regrets. She stands behind her decisions and doesn’t waver. Conviction is one of my favorite aspects of any character and she sticks to her guns hardcore, making her my favorite character of the movie.

I won’t say the movie was constantly unfunny or constantly not well-written. There were definitely some jokes that had me clenching my sides and they weren’t too far apart either. There’s a good story trying to claw its way out of here, but sadly it doesn’t reach the surface. Honestly, I wager this will be its own little hit. People will see it and completely laugh and love it all the way through, so I accept that my opinion won’t be shared. But either way, did not like the movie as a whole.

2/5

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