In Trainwreck, Amy (Amy Schumer) crashes through a variety of dating wreckages en route to a happier partnership, which itself has plenty of bumps along the way. The result will be remembered as one of the funnier, more risqué adventures of the summer movie season’s end.
Though a few of us land in fairy-tale-ending love lives early on, most have to learn the true teachings of the heart through a series of horrifying romantic carnages. Amy endures a variety of men under varying states of sobriety, sleeping with everyone from the awkwardly well endowed to the brazenly closeted, all the while attempting to uphold a journalism career. In the background, her coping mechanisms and a heavy family dynamic weigh her down. It’s a very funny, of-the-moment snapshot of the pitfalls and pratfalls of modern non-monogamy.
The movie, like a lot of modern comedies, lurches into a slower, dramatic, and somewhat moralizing redemption act in its final third. On the one hand, it feels a bit overlong as a result. On the other, it’s a good enough comedy that the darker elements help to deepen the brighter ones. In the script and in her performance, Schumer brings humanity to her Trainwreck, which puts it in a special category of comedy goodness.
Besides Schumer, who is great as Amy, a hero you love and root for despite her stumbles, the cast also has the appearances from the ever-enjoyable Bill Hader, the goofily smiling Vanessa Bayer, and the surprisingly great LeBron James as Hader’s sensitive best friend. Colin Quinn is also memorable as Amy’s father, and John Cena as one of her boyfriends. Between this and Bridesmaids, which Trainwreck director/co-producer Judd Apatow also produced, I preferred this one as being consistently funnier and more heartfelt.
To its credit, Trainwreck isn’t just about the disasters but also the grace to recover from them, and it reminds us that if there’s a light at the end of this crazy tunnel, it’s through the redemption of laughter.