(Beware: spoilers… but only if you’ve never seen a romantic comedy.)
Amy Schumer has achieved stardom in a seemingly overnight success kind of way, though Inside Amy Schumer has been on Comedy Central for three years and she was on the comedy circuit for many years before that, but writing and starring in Trainwreck is just the next logical step on her path to comedy icon.
Trainwreck opened on the weekend to $30.2 million at the box office and rave reviews. Tweets ranged from Variety saying that Trainwreck marks “the birth of a new film star” to Entertainment Weekly referring to it as one of the freshest and filthiest coming-out parties in a while. Even Rotten Tomatoes tips out on the fresh side of the scale.
— Rotten Tomatoes (@RottenTomatoes) July 17, 2015
In the movie, Schumer portrays Amy, who likes to have fun and and keep things light with her romantic conquests. But her commitment issues are challenged when her boss at the men’s magazine she writes for sends her to interview Dr. Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), a surgeon at the forefront of sports medicine, who’s a much more sensitive man than she’s used to, but she winds up falling for him anyway.
Inside Amy Schumer fans expect her comedy to be biting and almost painfully honest, and though it’s toned down here, there are plenty of reasons to like Trainwreck — here are three ways Amy Schumer dazzles.
1. A Refreshing Rom-Com Heroine
A typical rom-com female lead is a sweet as cherry pie, hard-working gal who just needs to find enough self-confidence to go after that big break and allow herself to open up to that good-looking bad boy who’s a much better human being than he appears to be.
Trainwreck doesn’t portray Amy as sweet — she drinks too much and is way more comfortable sleeping around than she is with any kind of commitment. But she loves her life just the way it is — she’s happy with her job, her friends and her apartment.
If you think that sounds a lot like Hollywood’s version of the bad boy, you’d be right. But in Schumer’s hands the character is relatable to every woman who’s ever felt a twinge of fear on the verge of commitment and then she pushes it to a place where it’s funny because there’s a nugget of truth to it.
2. A New Post-Post-Feminist
In the world of Trainwreck, Amy is mistreated by her misogynistic boss, who just so happens to be a woman (Tilda Swinton), and Aaron calls her the day after their first “date” and she assumes that he had to have butt-dialed her because nobody would call the very next day after a liaison.
Once again, Schumer goes for a little gender role swapping in Trainwreck. That’s been done before, but mix it with a little truth — the idea that there are women who hate their own gender and there are also women who want nothing to do with the house, husband, and 2.5 kids and push everyone away because of it — that has the taint of sadness to it, and there’s your comedy.
3. The Important Thing Is That Amy Learns To Love Herself
Trainwreck is a romantic comedy and Amy does get the guy in the end but what’s important is what she does before winning the guy.
The conceit of how Amy got to be the commitment-phobe adult is that she came from a broken home where her father told her over and over again that monogamous relationships make no sense. The drinking, doing drugs, and free-wheeling sex life made it easier not to have to question or deal with how she felt about herself. But falling in love and having to say goodbye to an important person in her life forces her to really look at herself.
Ultimately, no one needs a job, a husband/wife, or any of the stuff we accumulate to define who we are. In the end Amy realizes that all the stuff she listed as liking about her life — job, apartment and friends — are truly empty without the love she’s denying herself.
Does Trainwreck redefine the rom-com genre? No, it does not. Is it fun and is Amy Schumer relatable and charming, even when she’s a little raunchy? Yes, on all counts.
Take a look at the Trainwreck trailer below and make your own decision. Catch the movie playing now at your local theater.
[Image courtesy Universal Pictures via INDY Week]