Not as much of one as you thought.
I wonder how many women will look at Amy Townsend in Trainwreck and relate to her from personal experience. If any of them do, I question how they are still breathing, or speaking in coherent sentences. Amy is the opitamy of a disaster in this movie. She’s a woman who drinks a lot, smokes a lot, lies a lot, and has sex a lot, with way too many sexual partners for comfort. If this woman was an airship, she’d be the Hindenburg.
There’s only one person to blame for Amy’s behavior besides herself: her father Gordon (Colin Quinn), who humorously compares sexual partners to toy dolls while explaining to Amy and her sister Kim (Brie Larson) why he’s getting divorced with their mother. He tells them to repeat after him as if he’s conducting an orchestra: “Monogamy isn’t realistic! Monogamy isn’t realistic!”
Twenty years later, Amy is practicing her father’s advice. Our first glimpse at seeing Amy Schumer as the character involves her making out with a man and taking her clothes off, only to see him take his pants off and realize she’s taking on too much for her own good. This isn’t Amy’s first rodeo. She’ll hit-it-and-quit-it with guys like she’s skeet-shooting clay at a shooting range, and she’s an expert marksman. Once she’s had her fill, she dumps them quicker than Sunday’s recycling. Her excuses after being asked out: “Oh, I’m sorry, but I have plans!”, “Sorry, but I don’t think you’re my type.”, and “Sorry, but I’m not really into that.” That last one is true.
Suddenly, she meets this one guy that seems completely different. Aaron Conners (Bill Hader) is a sports doctor who tends to players such as LeBron James and Amar’e Stoudemire. Amy gets assigned by her magezine to write a profile on Conners, but she ends up taking Conners home instead. But when she does, she also does something she never does with another guy: she stays the night. Now questioning her own lifestyle and what she really wants, Amy decides whether or not she wants to remain a trainwreck for the rest of her life.
I’ll start with the best thing about this movie: Amy. No, not the character, the actor. Amy Schumer not only portrays the lead role in the film: she wrote her. Schumer is credited for the film’s concept just as much as she is for the film’s character. In a way, I think she wrote this film for herself. The script is written with an honesty and integrity that is rare with most of Hollywood’s screenplays, but with a humor and lightheartedness to it that is equally as rare and refreshing. I asked a friend of mine what the movie was about before going in to see it. Was it a love story? Was it a cautionary tale about substance and alcohol abuse? Was it about the struggle of being a middle-aged woman in America?
My friends response was “Yes.”
Oh, don’t get me wrong. The movie is incredibly profane and inappropriate. It deserves it’s R rating in every sense and fashion of the word. F words fly out as frequently as oxygen does. Drug use and excessive drinking follows Amy everywhere like a bad, never-ending hangover. Cleavage is the movie’s guilty pleasure. Sex, even more so.
If this were any other movie, I would knock off points for this movie’s unabashedly loose image and dirty humor. I do the same thing with excessive, over-the-top action and unnecessary violence. Yet, I raved about Mad Max: Fury Road a few months ago for the very things I usually hate in films. Here is another movie subverting my expectations and surprising me in ways that I wasn’t expecting.
How exactly does it do that? Well, the language is bad, definitely, but it’s honest. It’s reflective of this day and age’s mentality, and the clever and genuine dialogue shows that the script is smart enough to substantiate the bad language. The drugs and alcohol usually imply a bad mentality, but does it really when it shows us how much of a toll it takes on its main character? Other movies use drugs and alcohol for offensively comedic effect: this one uses it to show another side to it that is less funny. And the sexual content, while inappropriate, also has something important to say about human relationships. I.e. what would you rather have: multiple temporary romances, or one lasting affection?
This is what is so special about this movie: it pretends to be dumber than it actually is. It disguises itself as a stupid and obnoxious comedy, like The Change-Up or The Hangover, but then you watch it and you see the many truths that it carries with it. It’s not only funny and entertaining to watch: it’s also morally and emotionally binding. To me, that’s the most important kind of entertainment out there: the kind that leaves an impact.
This is, of course, a romantic comedy. What’s all in romantic comedies? Cheesy endings, that’s what. And just like all romantic comedies, this movie is just as guilty for having one as well. But the movie itself is not cheesy, and it’s main star carries the weight of the film well all by herself with both heart and humor. Trainwreck is a good title for this movie. Beautiful disaster would be another.