I like romantic comedies. As a man that feels like a daring thing to say, but the reality is most of the greatest films ever made were people talking and having relationships in. Seriously, I like movies were people walk and talk and things happen and they figure them out without supernatural nonsense jumping in the way.
I know most Americans going to the theater this weekend were going to watch the cartoon superhero turn in to an ant and fight crime, but I can't deal with glib superheroes anymore. Now, here is the caveat, there is a subgenre of romantic comedy known as the dreaded chick flick that must be avoided at all costs. They look something like this:
There is an audience for these things, there must be, one gets made every two months. They're cute, simple, and usually devoid of thought and reality. Trainwreck manages to stay firmly in the realm of romantic comedy for the first 2 hours and the last 6 minutes craps the bed and delves into ridiculous cute chick flick territory. That being said, there is a lot to like here: starting with the cast: Amy Schumer wrote and starred in the film and she is terrific. We'll be seeing her in movies for years to come. For the majority of the film she is extraordinarily likable and crass and daring in her comedy. (I deplore when someone refers to actors as brave... they're playing pretend. Firemen and male strippers are brave.) She's at the same time cute, but approachable, which Tilda Swinton's character cruelly points out. Colin Quinn steals every scene he is in playing Amy's Dad, and Dave Attell acts as a Greek Chorus of some sorts playing a homeless man outside of Amy's apartment and always got a laugh. The movie is funny, actually scratch that, damn funny. Which isn't surprising, because there are around 17 comedians in the film.
One thing the film does well is turn gender roles upside down. In your typical chick flick romantic comedy, the man is a commitment phobic, alcoholic scamp that just needs to meet the right person to turn himself around. Amy plays this role well as a slurring letch that has multiple sexual encounters with different men through the first 1/3 of the movie. Most of these are played for laughs, especially her relationship with John Cena, who perfectly plays the role of a himbo.
To offset Amy's crass characters are the effeminate roles played by Bill Hader and Lebron James. Both work well, which is no surprise from Hader, but it was nice to see that Lebron is better at one thing than Jordan is. Hader serves as the love interest of the film and catalyst for Amy's predictable change. Lebron plays Hader's friend/patient, and jealous/protective lover in an odd "What are your intentions" scene. Their homoerotic friendship is funny, but wears a little thin.
The only real issue with the film is the final few minutes. Being that this a review and not recapping of the movie, I won't give away the ending, but you really have to suspend disbelief to get through a dragged-out dance sequence that is neither funny nor realistic. The ending really flatlines the movie and ventures into the chick-flick movie territory that the film had successfully lampooned to some degree earlier.
Final Verdict: Like many of the films directed by Judd Apatow, Trainwreck is funny, crass and casted wonderfully. Also like most of Apatow's movies, you probably won't like the last few minutes. That being said, go support a funny adult comedy. There's not many of them and this one works for 95% of the time.
Go See It