Trainwreck Review

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By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

How do we learn about the world? It really begins as small children and we learn from thing we see on TV and from our parents. Now, that could be good or bad, depending on the parents. But they are our introductions to life. From the moment we’re born, we learn about trust and security by whether or not they are there for us when we need them, and, according to psychology, if our needs are met (or not), we progress down different lines. Such is the most underlying foundation of the latest film from Judd Apatow, from a script by Amy Schumer, Trainwreck.

In a flashback, young Amy (Devin Fabry) and Kim’s (Carla Oudin) father explain to the girls why their parents are getting a divorce (he was having multiple affairs) using a Barbie doll. “You wouldn’t want to play with one Barbie for the rest of your life, would you?” This little bit of information becomes ingrained in the mind of Amy (Amy Schumer) as she grows up. Amy is a writer for a popular magazine who runs articles like “Does garlic change the taste of semen?” and “The 10 Ugliest Celebrity Children Under 6 Years Old”. This affords her a lifestyle she wants, with a nice apartment and the ability to sleep with as many men as she wants, then moving on to the next guy. Her sister Kim (Brie Larson), on the other hand, has found happiness in a married life and wishes the same for Amy.

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It isn’t until Amy is assigned to write an article on famed sports doctor Aaron (Bill Hader), which she doesn’t want to do because she hates sports, that something begins to change. Aaron is a hard working guy who believes in love, spends time doing extra work with Doctors without Borders and doesn’t really seem to know how great he is. Amy becomes shocked when she and Aaron actually fall into a relationship. It is this un-comfortableness that causes a dilemma for Amy: should she push him away and leave, as she always has in the past, or does she stay and see what actually may happen?

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In a Judd Apatow film, he’s usually the one who has written the script, but takes the plunge and creates the work of someone else this time around. Apatow knows comedy, he knows people and he knows how audiences can relate, and it is here in Trainwreck that the magic happens. The script is flipped on its head, with Schumer playing the role that would usually be given to a male lead, and Hader playing the role that would be typical of a female lead. It is this juxtaposition, along with the comedic talents of Schumer and Hader, that thoroughly bring the film to life. One of the biggest things that makes this film so successful is how relatable it is on so many different levels. We have all been in relationships (making an assumption here, bear with me), have been in good ones and bad ones, have lived lives of excess or more frugality and know people who fit into all these character molds. It is this familiarity we have as humans that puts Trainwreck on a different level of viewership, grabbing us from the beginning with humor and realism.

If you didn’t know who Amy Schumer was prior to this film, you will now. She’s arguably one of the funniest women in Hollywood, with her truthfulness and honesty about life. And she brings that to life, brilliantly here. Playing the “male” role, she embodies what it is to be a stereotypical male, to enjoy life to the fullest, not caring and just having fun. She also lacks a certain amount of responsibility. This embodiment stems from the imparting of ideologies that we often receive from our parents, and it takes a while for her character to break through that and continue to grow as a human. But the journey in itself is a true joy to watch with Amy. Bill Hader is just awesome a down to earth doctor to the sport stars. He is the embodiment of what women hope to find in a guy, for the most part. He isn’t perfect, but who is? Then there are smaller roles around for the likes of John Cena, who is a physical specimen with a heart of gold, and Lebron James, who is one of Doctor Aaron’s patients. Lebron has a larger role than one would think and, while his first two scenes or so, are a bit stiff, he finds his groove and has some great on screen moments with both Hader and Schumer.

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Trainwreck is much more than just a funny comedy. There is wisdom to be found, wisdom which we can all take and apply to our own lives and relationships. The realization that there comes a time when we need to stop keeping the world at arm’s length to avoid getting hurt, to allow people in who could actually be good for us, to not take everything at face value and find our own answers in life. Audiences may find a few things to quibble about with Trainwreck, but for a not traditional at all romantic comedy, this film is something special.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


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