Country: USA, Japan
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director: Judd Apatow
Writer: Amy Schumer
Music: Jon Brion
Cinematography: Jody Lee Lipes
American comedienne Amy Schumer’s star-making mainstream rom-com, or chick flick, grossed over $110 million in North America, while its international prowess is way less impressive which heartily tells that its appeal may barely register out of its home turf.
The script is written by Schumer herself and the man in the director chair is none other than Judd Apatow, his fifth feature film. TRAINWRECK starts off with a cranky divorcé Gordon Townsend (Quinn), instils the idea that monogamy doesn’t work to his two young daughters, Amy was 9 and Kim was 5 then.
22 years later, Amy (Schumer), now becomes a column writer for a glossy men’s magazine supervised by the editor Dianna (Swinton, unrecognizable at first glance but killing all her scenes with a pungent whiff of supercilious nonchalance towards her miserable subordinates), has serious commitment issues and practices promiscuity on a daily basis; yet by a routine contrast, Kim (Larson) leans to another opposite: gets married, has a stepson, and now her own baby is on the way, whereas Gordon, in poor health condition, stays in an elderly home and squabbles with an extraordinarily sprightly centenarian Norman (Lloyd, who is born in 1914 and still with us today).
Amy’s current sex-mate is Steven (the WWE champion Cena, overplays gay cant and maladroit sex act out of left field), contrary to his bodybuilder appearance, he is essentially a vulnerable, non-violent family guy wants to settle down with her, naturally Amy bluntly cuts their relationship off, and Steven’s last line is “Amy, you’re not nice!”. In hindsight, this is the point, Amy is not a nice gal by any standard (partially thanks to the influence of her awful father), which makes the following story of her romance with an utterly normal guy sounds and appears like pure hokum, she doesn’t fit to that conventional category, she cannot just be a sucker for a harmless dude like Aaron (Hader), that’s too absurd for viewers to stomach with a smiley face. However, this is where the plot insists going.
Aaron, a well-to-do but slightly gawky sports doctor (therefore, we will meet a dozen cameos of celebrities from the sports field, not that I care), is Amy’s subject of her next article (which is not even her pitch since she thinks sport is plainly nonsense, which I must second personally, especially for competitive sports). He is blandly good-hearted and harmless, yet, Bill Hader is no prince-charming either, after Amy lures him into sex, Aaron falls for her hard (some geeky guys are really into loose women), and against all her misgivings, Amy agrees to start a relationship with him. Everyone but Aaron dreads a disaster ending is waiting for this ill-paired couple, including Amy herself, still, she cannot forfeit the opportunity of ruining Aaron’s I-need-sleep-because-I-have-a-surgery-to-perform-tomorrow-morning night while having no trepidation at that moment of how self-centred her behaviour is, well, after that, Aaron still refuses to sever the tie (hope I am not the only one who wonders what is the problem with that guy?), but it is time to take a break anyway, since Amy needs time to prepare her triumphant third act return (strenuous rehearsals are required), so she can win back the apple of her eye, just as corny as that, believe it or not, the train has crashingly derailed to a phony happy-ending, churned out to ingratiate an unearned and forced good feeling.
Disguised as an earnest semi-autobiographic comedy banks on Schumer’s talent, TRAINWRECK as its name overtly claims, is an unfulfilled self-reflexive journey of a liberated and independent woman in America jammed with raunchy and rowdy sketches, Schumer has busted her chops to elevate both the flick’s farcical set pieces and emotional curve (if any of you who thinks Gordon Townsend is one of the best persons you have ever met, we are definitely living on two very different planets), but the sad truth is that laughter rings self-conciously harrow and teardrops have never ever left tear gland.
TRAINWRECK is serviceable at its very best, and the elephant-in-the-room is that has Judd Apatow lost his mojo at this point of his career (or can we just allot all the blame to Schumer’s oscillating script)? The only mildly conciliatory effect is to see an unexpected reunion of Swinton and Miller after their terrific turn in Lynne Ramsay’s WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (2011), the latter is genuinely simpatico to a fault of creepiness and the former is as per usual, unbelievably chameleonic.