SXSW15 Review – Trainwreck (2015)

trainwreck-bill-hader-amy-schumer

When I heard that Judd Apatow (This is 40, Knocked Up) was directing a new film written by and starring Amy Schumer (Girls, Louie) I jumped for joy. Amy is known for her standup and her insanely funny Inside Amy Schumer show, which is currently on Comedy Central. Her brand of comedy is a feministic approach to sexy, it’s fun, flirty but totally playing it right. Poking fun at outdated traditions still prevalent in modern day culture, not afraid to be bold and forthright.

Amy’s character (conveniently called Amy) has an anti monogamy code which she lives by, she has a muscle bound boyfriend, but she’s very much playing the field. One day she’s assigned to write a piece on sports doctor to the stars Aaron (Bill Hader; Super Bad, The Skeleton Twins) who she has what she thinks is a one night stand with until he, god forbid, calls her the next day. They then start dating and things go great at first, but obviously in a film called Trainwreck it’s not going to be a smooth ride.

What really surprised me was how much of a reference to sports there was in the movie. It just seemed a bit weird to pair Amy’s brand of super smart feminist comedy with basketball. I’d like to hope that this is what Amy wanted to do with the film, however the cynic in me makes me think that this was done to get dudes butts on seats. If they know that Lebron James is in it, maybe they’ll make this their date night movie? I’m obviously not trying to say girls don’t like basketball, but I just thought the combination was strange.

I don’t think I’m an exception, but being a British lady I know nothing about basketball, and the majority of the sports references were completely lost on me. There were a few other things in the film that were US centric which didn’t translate to a UK audience, particularly an intervention scene with Matthew Broderick and two TV sports commentators which didn’t really add anything to the film. I understand that the screening at SXSW was a work in progress version of the film, and my thoughts would be to leave this scene to the DVD extras. Though knowing how Apatow likes his films long, it’ll probably get left in!

Despite the sport overload there is still plenty of opportunity for Amy to do what she does best and she is tremendous. There’s one scene where you see her getting it on with hunky boyfriend where she “does it like a man” which is so smart, funny and clever. I’m so glad there are comedians out there doing what she does and getting to make movies.

It was fantastic to see Bill Hader play the male lead, particularly as he was so amazing in last year’s The Skeleton Twins. However, as he’s playing the straight male lead, he’s there more to back up Amy, than to do the woefully sarcastic comedy we know and love him for.

LeBron James is surprisingly good at keeping up with the comedians and was super funny, especially with his Downtown Abbey talk. Brie Larson (Short Term 12, 21 Jump Street) does a good job at playing Amy’s sensible sister. There is also a hilarious cameo from Marisa Tomei (The Rewrite, Love is Strange) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) in a black and white film called The Dog Walker.

So Trainwreck is a feminist comedy film, but it’s also a sports movie. I just wish that sports movie was more League of Their Own and less Space Jam. It’s still incredibly funny and I can’t wait for more people to appreciate the awesomeness of Amy Schumer.

★★★1/2

Alice Hubley

Genre: Comedy Venue: SXSW15 Rating: TBA Release Date: 28 August 2015 (UK)  Director
Judd Apatow Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, LeBron James, Brie Larson