Judd Apatow has become a powerhouse in the world of comedy not only as director, but as a producer bringing some of the best of the genre to audiences for years. Now he is returning to the director’s seat with his latest Trainwreck and bringing female comedy superstar Amy Schumer to lead the charge. Could he be offering up yet another great addition to the comedy world or will it live up to its title in the worse possible way?
Trainwreck follows a young woman who always thought that monogamy was never possible, but has to face her fears when she meets a good guy. Amy Schumer has already established herself as a comedy force with her standup and TV series but this film shows that she has the chops to carry a film as well. While for most of the film she is pretty much the same Schumer that fans have come to love, she does get some moments to showcase her acting range outside of comedy and does a good job with it. While she is leading the charge, Schumer has a great supporting cast to work with including Bill Hader, Brie Larson, LeBron James, John Cena, Tilda Swinton, Colin Quinn, Dave Atell, and Ezra Miller. Bill Hader is another that is always great and this film is no different, but instead of the usual silly comic relief he gets to play the straight man love interest and it works. The rest of the cast all do a great job, but it is the supporting unexpected performances of both wrestler John Cena and Basketball phenom LeBron James that really stood out. Both of them brought fun, emotion and varying levels to their performances that not only added to the story, but brought the laughs. Schumer seems to connect well with every character most notably with the romance between her and Hader and the father/daughter relationship with Quinn.
Like most Apatow films there are plenty of laughs laced with some drama to keep the film grounded from being too silly. There are a few stumbles early on where they film seems like it struggles to find its groove, but once it does it works pretty well. Sure there are the clichéd directions the overall film goes in, but thanks to some hilarious moments and characters that work well with each other it ends up delivering more than you expect. When the film is funny it is really funny, but there are a few jokes that fall flat, but like most comedy it is subjective. Some of the best moments in the film are watching Schumer just do her thing and seemingly adlib some funny lines. When she is off the screen, which isn’t all that much this film is owned by the believable bond between Hader and James who share some great moments and funny dialog as well as a simple yet funny one on one basketball game. There are some other cameos that made the film all the more fun while not feeling like forced cameos for no reason.
This is one of those comedies that will connect with people differently. The humor is often dirty, but never so far over the top to be gross. It isn’t quite as funny throughout as you might expect as it does still allow the story to shine through with some emotional drama thrown in for good measure, but this could throw some people off. Whether you like it or not, there is no doubt that this is a great spring board for Schumer to come to the big screen and will hopefully be just the start of some hilarious things to come.