Amy Schumer has spent the last year or so making a name for herself in America as a female comedian who is not afraid to take down the classic traps and tropes into which female models/actresses/comedians often fall or are forced. Aside from the odd internet video, she has kept a relatively low profile in the UK until now, possibly because her style is often a bit too crude or brash for a genteel British taste.
Trainwreck is her big breakthrough and, thanks to the support of many supporting actors and guest stars, it largely works and makes a comedic impact.
The film follows Amy (Schumer) who sleeps around, having had it drilled into her head by her father that ‘monogamy isn’t realistic’, and works at a slightly sleazy men’s magazine. But her life is flipped upside down when she meets good guy sports doctor Aaron (Bill Hader) and has to work out how to play the nice girlfriend part.
The star of the show is LeBron James. Who knew this basketball player has such brilliant comedic timing? Every word he utters is timed and delivered perfectly and his role as Aaron’s sensitive friend is genius. Watch out for them arguing over the bill too.
Another absolute delight is Daniel Radcliffe as The Dogwalker, a film Amy and her boyfriend watch – or rather, argue during – at the cinema. The less said the better, just wait for him to pop up and play the most ridiculous part.
Others who add something special to the film are Ezra Miller, Tilda Swinton, Brie Larson and Matthew Broderick.
Schumer is likeable and it probably works better than it might with another actress as she was also the writer, meaning she is clearly heavily invested in and fully committed to the part. The character is a truly awful person at times but completely redeems herself at others so following her can be a rollercoaster ride. But Hader alongside her is sweet and loveable, and you end up rooting for him not to get hurt.
Although the movie is a tad long – you could say ‘for a rom-com’, but really it just needs some shaving regardless – it is a lot more original and unabashed than most films of the love genre. It’s not afraid to show uncliched characters – not all women are Jennifer Aniston and not all men are Matthew McConaughey.
Amy is by no means perfect, and has some rather unusual sexual encounters, but she is an interesting person to watch develop. Similarly, Aaron is not the confident go-getter guy or suave, sophisticated type that can just sweep Amy off her feet. It is more two-sided than that and although this shouldn’t be such a breath of fresh air, it is and it deserves a slap on the back for actually trying.
With a little more refinement and pluckiness, the next collaboration between Schumer and director Judd Apatow could be something really interesting and perhaps even ground-breaking. These are all stars to watch.