The peak of Amy Schumer’s 15 minutes. So this is about that one girl that you probably know in your own life: she dates terrible guys, she’s more or less a functioning alcoholic, and she barely has her life together enough to hold down a full time job. Her life is in for a shake-up when she meets a good guy (Bill Hader). This movie has been getting a lot of traction, so of course I had to take a day off and check it out (side note: I can’t believe I could get a ticket for under $5, but I suppose that’s the perk to seeing a movie at 10:30 AM on a Thursday.) Given that I already knew that this is a Judd Apatow production, I can say that this is everything that I was expecting it to be, which is mostly positive.
While this may be an Apatow production, this is a vehicle for Schumer herself, as she is front in center, writing and starring. She has been getting a lot attention lately, which is largely because talented female comedians are so hard to come by, especially ones that have a means of reaching both genders. The girl’s got talent and comedic timing, and not only that, she’s got a voice as well, not afraid to speak her mind on whatever issue she feels passionately about. This is where Trainwreck succeeds the most, and it is completely her doing. Also helping the party is the very strong supporting cast. Brie Larson has been great since Scott Pilgrim, and John Cena, like other wrestlers before him, actually does have acting abilities, and he has a number of laugh-out-loud worthy lines. Bill Hader really gets to show the full extent of his acting range, and I never saw him as the S.N.L. guy here, I saw him as a real human being. Stealing the show is LeBron James, though, and he is given tons to do; even though he wasn’t happy with his performance from what I hear, the way they utilize him just flat out works.
Now if you recall from the first paragraph, you may gather that I have a criticism here, which is Judd Apatow’s constant folly: his movies go on for longer than they need to. It’s something he’s never been able to correct, and it has always been a problem. Just leveling here: there is no reason why a comedy has to be longer than 100 minutes. If you’ve got something working, you may be able to push it to 110, but even then, it’s a risk that has rare payoff. It’s like the movies he makes have all of the deleted scenes featured in it, and this runs about 15 – 20 minutes longer than it needs to. It’s never as trying as Funny People which is a legit 2 1/2 hour movie, but it still stands as a mark against itself. It’s still funny, though, and I enjoyed this a whole lot. This makes me happy to see this financially succeed in the same way that I was happy for Bridesmaids on behalf of Kristen Wiig: this can only mean that we are going to get more Amy Schumer projects, which is something I want to see in the future.
Trainwreck (2015) ****
– Critic for Hire