Much like a train wreck itself, “Trainwreck” successfully takes off from the station, only to crash and burn halfway through.
“Trainwreck” centers around the life of Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer, TV’s “Inside Amy Schumer”) who basically wrote the part of herself, for herself — down to using her own name. After years of meaningless dating and one night stands, can she find the man of her dreams in the unsuspecting romantic lead, doctor to the star athletes Aaron Connor (Bill Hader, TV’s “Saturday Night Live”)?
“Trainwreck” opens with Amy’s unfaithful (and hilariously obscene) father Gordon (Collin Quinn, “A Night at the Roxbury”) setting his young daughters up with his idea of a grounded expectation that justifies his numerous acts of infidelity: “Monogamy isn’t realistic.”
Fast forward to modern day New York City, where Amy is aimlessly dating brainless, chiseled (and likely gay) meathead Steven (John Cena, WWE pro wrestler), all the while sparking meaningless one-night-stands with a small army of men. When Steven finds out that their relationship isn’t monogamous, he question’s Amy’s commitment and breaks it off. Although it sounds deceitful, the whole ordeal is quite hilarious.
Meanwhile, Amy is dealing with more than a few other issues. Amy’s father, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, must be moved into a nursing home. Her sister, Kim (Brie Larson, “21 Jump Street”) doesn’t want to keep him in the expensive nursing home — she sees her father as an adulterer who betrayed their mother and family. Unlike Amy, Kim is a family woman, the very thing Amy dreads becoming.
Clinging to her youth, Amy works at a trashy tabloid for men, S’Nuff, under her stony boss Dianna (Tilda Swinton, “The Chronicles of Narnia”), writing vulgar stories that wouldn’t be welcome in the family-friendly Mountain Times. Amy, who hates sports, is assigned to write an article about surgeon to the athletes, Aaron Connor.
When Amy introduces herself to Aaron, it’s hilariously awkward and cute. NBA star/wingman Lebron James, who plays himself, busts in during the interview, and Amy doesn’t even know who he is. Throughout the movie, James is Aaron’s hilariously overprotective friend who acts nothing like you would expect from an athletic superstar.
Things are going well on Amy’s assignment, but too well; Aaron asks Amy out for drinks and, in her inebriated state, she takes him home.
The next day, Aaron calls Amy asking to go out again, and she thinks its a mistake. Why would he call her after a one night stand? Why would he be so forward in asking her out? It only enlightens one to the insane standards that some women have for dating in today’s world — one that is entirely exaggerated in this film.
Things go well for the unlikely couple for a few months, until we come to a Doctors Without Borders awards ceremony. As the scene begins, the audience can feel an impending (and predictable) sense of doom. During Aaron’s acceptance speech, Amy’s formidable boss Dianna calls, threatening to fire her if she doesn’t pick up, so she steps out and takes the call. (Heaven forbid a woman put her work first.)
Aaron is hurt that Amy was absent for his speech, and the whole issue blows up into a fight about Amy’s sketchy past. After this, their first fight, Amy and Aaron are about to call it quits when it calls for a miracle (or in this case, a choreographed dance number). Will their relationship stand strong?
“Trainwreck” follows a limiting theme concerning the female lead: she parties too hard, she blunders, she cleans up her act. She has to purify and improve herself to fix their relationship.
The first half of this movie is literally laugh out loud funny. The star-studded cast includes many celebrities playing themselves, including NBA star Amar’e Studemeier, actor Matthew Broderick and sports commentator Marv Albert. Other familiar faces, such as comedian Dave Attell, Daniel Radcliffe (“Harry Potter” series) and Marisa Tomei (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) also have funny cameos.
And although “Trainwreck” starts off with a bang, the rom-com drags to a laborious 125 minutes, when the fun stops about 45 minutes before.
If you’re just looking for laughs, you’ve come to the right place. But if you’re looking for an accurate depiction of the contemporary dating world, don’t take it too seriously.
“Trainwreck” comes to us from producer Judd Apatow, who has gifted mainstream America with such comedy classics as “The 40-Year-Old-Virgin,” “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “Bridesmaids,” “Knocked Up” and a seemingly endless list of gut-busters. And although it may be as funny as some of the others on the list, “Trainwreck” won’t be among these heartwarming comedic classics.
“Trainwreck” is rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use.