Trainwreck [MOVIE REVIEW]

Judd Apatow is a director I have always been aware of, I know about all the movies he has directed and I could even tell you the year they were all released... however up to this point I have actually never seen one of them. After having seen 'Trainwreck' however, I am going to have to finally check out his other films (which I have been meaning to do by the way) because I really enjoyed this.

The thing with most american comedies nowadays is that a lot of them fall into the same category. Romantic comedies are usually the same, stoner comedies are usually the same etc... they all follow the same kind of formula (one that was brilliantly parodied in last year's 'They Came Together') and they are usually extremely dialogue and improv heavy with no focus on the visual side of the comedy spectrum - or even the dramatical side, which is something a lot of comedy movies do not bother with because "it is a comedy". What I have consistently noticed is that all the best comedy movies DO have some kind of dramatic heft to it which adds to the characters feeling real. If everything is just a joke then whatever happens to the characters in the story does not matter because there has been nothing in the film to make us care for them in a deeper way than "they can make us laugh from time to time". Movies like 'Shaun of the Dead' and 'The World's End' are extremely funny - but they also have characters who go through real hardships and evolve like real people. This is where 'Trainwreck' excells.

This is Amy Schumer's first screenplay for a feature film and I do not think it is hyperbole to say that she is the main reason why this film works as well as it does. She takes a very typical premise and turns it into something new, something relatable and most importantly - something real. These characters DO feel like real people, just by watching the scenes with Amy and her sister Kim you can tell that they do have a history together and that they have gone through all of these moments they talk about. Schumer is also of course the leading lady of the film and her comedic skills are definitely noticeable. Her comedic timing is sharp as a blade and her chemistry with Bill Hader is near perfection.

But of course Amy Schumer is not the only star of this film. Bill Hader has been an actor I have enjoyed in everything he has been in from his work on 'South Park' and most recently, completely nailing it as Fear in 'Inside Out' and he is great here too. He is such a likeable actor and you just cannot take your eyes off of him when he is on the screen. I hope he gets to do a lot more stuff in the future - maybe even some dramatic roles as he excelled there too. Surprisingly though he was accompanied by LeBron James who is actually pretty damn good in the film (and of course he plays himself). I do not watch basketball, I do not really care about basketball but if LeBron were to ever give it up - I could see him getting into acting. In fact nothing is really stopping him right now from appearing in more films right now. It is safe to say though, the acting in this film is really good and it is part of the reason it works as well as it does.

Now as I said in the beginning of the review, I have not seen a single Judd Apatow movie up to this point. It is safe to say however that he definitely knows what he is doing and does not rely on the actors improving. He knows that a comedy movie needs something more than just people in a room talking and while I cannot say that 'Trainwreck' was gut-bustingly funny, I did laugh quite a lot of times throughout the film's runtime and while the movie is a bit too long - I was never that bored with what was happening and just waiting for it to wrap up. I know 'The 40 Year Old Virgin' should probably be at the top of my list of Apatow movies to watch - which it currently is so I will get right on that whenever I get the chance (which of course includes being in the mood for a comedy film).

Overall, 'Trainwreck' is a very good movie. The screenplay is really smartly written and I can definitely see Schumer and Apatow teaming up like this again. The performances all around are very good, the pacing does begin to drag just a little bit but for the most part there is not a dull moment to be found. So despite the formulaic storyline, it somehow overcomes it and offers something entertaining and one of the better comedies of the year.


- Lucas


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