Thursday, August 13, 2015

Trainwreck (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

“Trainwreck” Is Not a Trainwreck
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Amy Schumer is a fast-rising comedienne, best known for her Comedy Central series called “Inside Amy Schumer.” As much as she talks about her private parts on the show, it is aptly titled.

Now she’s hit the big time, coming to the attention of comedymeister Judd Apatow, who is directing her first film, “Trainwreck.” Needless to say, she wrote the script herself.

“Trainwreck” is rolling them in the aisles at Tropic Cinema.

It’s the story of a commitment-phobic young woman who eschews matrimony for a no-holds-barred lifestyle. “I’m just a modern chick who does what she wants,” Amy says. That includes charity work. “I slept with a lot of fat guys in college,” she describes her good deeds.

You see, Amy’s divorce-bitter dad (Colin Quinn) taught her that “monogamy isn’t realistic.” So what happens when this good-time gal meets the right man?

As a magazine writer, Amy sets out to interview a successful sports doctor (SNL alum Bill Hader), not prepared to fall for the guy. But she is taken by the doc’s charming naiveté. How many women has he slept with? “I’ve slept with three,” he says. “I’ve slept with three women too,” Amy replies.

Like on her Comedy Central sketch show, Schumer surrounds herself with recognizable stars. Here we have Tilda Swinton, Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei, wrestler John Cena, among others.

The director takes some credit for the casting. Always the last kid picked on a team, Apatow says he grew up hating athletes. Now he likes hiring them for movies so he can boss them around on set. This time it’s basketball great LeBron James. “LeBron’s greatest strength as an actor is that he showed up on time,” quips Apatow.

Schumer wrote LeBron James’s part with him in mind, although Barkhad Abdi was originally cast in the role.

She described her character’s boss as a “Tilda Swinton type,” and Tilda said yes when Apatow called her.

Most importantly, Schumer wrote the script hoping that Judd Apatow would agree to direct it, so she deliberately “wrote in things that would attract him to the project.” It worked. This is the first film Judd Apatow has directed that he didn’t write.

Promoted as “Not Your Mother’s Romantic Comedy,” the success of “Trainwreck” comes from Amy Schumer’s subtly subverting the rom-com formula, turning it into something of a reverse-gender “Jerry Maguire.”

“Trainwreck” is profane, funny, entertaining. It is anything but a trainwreck.

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