Apart from unintentionally infecting the world with that limey pissant known as Russell Brand, Judd Apatow is the reason R-rated comedies did not die after the turn of the century. With the help of Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen, and James Franco, he directed and produced a number of exceptional films that put Adam Sandler to shame (then again, Sandler puts himself to shame). They feel genuine with relatable themes and jokes that are actually funny. An Apatow movie is like Saturday Night Life if the actors and writers knew how comedy worked. Can Trainwreck measure up to his past works or should you give it a pass for Ant-Man?
If you read my previous review, you should see Ant-Man regardless. There is no reason to not see it, but that does not mean you should skip Trainwreck. It was a really bad move for both to come out at the same time. Nevertheless, one or the other will do if you are looking for a good comedy this weekend.
Comedian Amy Schumer plays Amy, a magazine staff writer who enjoys her life of alcohol, limited marijuana use, and tempered promiscuity. But while writing an article on sports physician Aaron, played by Bill Hader, she cannot handle feeling she wants a serious relationship and struggles between giving in or moving on.
If you have seen one Apatow directed movie you have seen them all. When you break it down by plot points, Trainwreck lines up with 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. One can predict the moment of change, separation, and redemption on timing alone. What keeps the linearity in check is the humor of each film. All three are virtually the same, but they are defined and remembered for their comedy. Whether its “You know how I know you’re gay” or the “Chairs” scene, no one cares about the story as long as it has moments that make you laugh.
Trainwreck is no exception. Because Apataow employees professionals, they work in perfect harmony to make the humor consistent between each scene and character. And like many times before, there is a lot to enjoy, the difference being Schumer’s unique perspective.
To put it simply, at the risk of garnering unwanted attention, her style is feminist in the context of equality. She is very casual about sex, body issues, and stereotypes in relation to masculinity and treats men as equals rather than opposites. As the writer of Trainwreck, she applies her voice and structures the story around someone who is forced to grow out of her preferred lifestyle, a reverse 40-Year-Old Virgin.
Everyone on the cast did well, providing their respective levels of comedy depending on their parts. Schumer proved she could hold her own against veteran Hader. Even Lebron James and John Cena carried themselves, playing caricatures of their personalities. Dave Attell shows up as a homeless parody of himself. I do not know if he is a bum in real life, but it was a great touch.
The one negative I find is the lack of a blooper reel. Did something happen that put a stop to including outtakes at the end of movies? Apatow’s bloopers are always great and it is a shame I have to wait till the DVD release to see them.
I recommend Trainwreck, but only after you see Ant-Man. Both are fantastic comedies worth your time and money. The latter is more fun where as the former has a ton of relatable themes consistent with Apatow’s signature. To that end, it is a question of personal preference. But you should see Ant-Man even if you do not want to.