B and I love Amy Schumer, so we had high hopes for Trainwreck. We even braved a packed house to see it on Sunday, when we’d normally wait until a few weeks after opening.
We enjoyed it, but neither one of us was bowled over by it. There were plenty of funny lines, and everyone in the theatre howled several times, so if you’re looking for a good, light rom-com, it’s a great choice. But it’s basically a standard of the genre. I was hoping for something more revolutionary. Amy does reverse a few tropes: it’s her character who’s playing the field, and the dudes who want the commitment. There are some truly hilarious moments, like the baby shower for her sister, where she gets to shock a lot of very sheltered people who make the mistake of deciding to play some confession game. LeBron James is pretty awesome as himself. In fact, there are many sports cameos, so you’ll enjoy that if you’re in to that sort of thing.
I do wish Amy had blazed new trails rather than just throwing a little new gravel on the well-worn paths. I was pretty disturbed by the first sex scene between her and her main love interest: it’s very rape culture, and it’s not made better by the fact that she’s the one rushing the physical relationship rather than him. The whole reluctant-to-fall-in-love trope has been done to death, and it’s not more interesting to me when it’s the woman who’s avoiding commitment. We of course have to have the dramatic middle, and the girl-loses-boy bit, which always drags for me. The bits trying to address racism were damned uncomfortable, so be prepared to squirm. But there’s a point where someone says something rather homophobic, and her comeback is pitch-perfect. I wanted to come to m*y feet and shout, “FUCK YES!!”
I’ll say this: Amy’s not just funny, she’s got serious acting chops, and if she wants your heart bleeding on a stick, she’ll have it. Even if you’re sitting there eating your chicken fingers* and trying to be all stoic through the obligatory tear-jerker bits before we get to the big make up and happy-ever-after scenes. She made me have all the feels for a character I’d hated. It was awesome.
Her grand romantic gesture at the end is both charming and hilarious, which made up for a lot of the disappointing bits. So overall, yes, it’s a movie well worth watching. Just so long as you don’t expect it to change the face of cinema. Still waiting for that feminist rom-com that changes the industry…
*We were at Cinebarre, where you can have dinner and a movie at the same time. I love that place so much. But I wish they’d bring back their French Dip, damn it!