The degree to which you’ll like Director Judd Apetow’s Trainwreck is the degree to which you enter as a fan of his lead actress Amy Schumer. Not really familiar with her work, I tried to keep a neutral point of view.
Amy plays a vapid, slovenly, Millennial inebriate with a negative point of view. After 20 minutes of her shtick, if you were crazy and had a gun, you might start shooting fellow viewers. (Oh, it happened.)
Too negative? Well, that will give you an idea of the level of the humor and the workings of the magazine for which Amy’s character works.
Early on, when Amy is given the assignment to write about a sports doctor (Bill Hader), she says that people who follow sports are stupid. I would put forth that the audience members, who laughed at much of her humor, make sports enthusiasts seem like doctoral candidates.
A revelation arose, when I noticed that the scenes without Ms. Schumer, including both professionals like Brie Larson, Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton and Colin Quinn, as well as amateurs like basketball stars LeBron James and Amar’e Stoudemire, were very good. It became obvious that Schumer is quite a talented writer. But, acting is another matter. Quinn’s and Swinton’s characters were both very negative, yet they were able to be engaging and funny at the same time.
Since Schumer’s character was named Amy, I realized (duh) that this was a vanity piece and began to think of who should have played Amy. Kristen Bell, Anna Kendrick and even co-star Larson came to mind.
If Schumer wants to be in front of the camera, she needs to study Melissa McCarthy’s work for timing, engagement and watchability.
In the very last scene, she showed potential. And, the reason was because she was, finally, energetic. In comedy, energy is everything.
I give Trainwreck a 2.9 out of 5.