When deciding between the Trainwreck and Ant-Man screenings this week the choice was easy seeing as Amy Schumer should easily destroy a man who shrinks in size when he gets action. Yet, as funny as it is, Trainwreck isn’t quite the sure thing I expected it to be.
With Schumer behind the script, Trainwreck is full of the self aware and pointed comedy that the easily offended may pause at as they fight the urge to laugh along with everyone else in the theater. The first 20-30 minutes of the film are spent building up Schumer’s character as a woman firmly planted in the belief that “monogamy is unrealistic,” allowing plenty of time to bounce between scenes with her male focused and completely unsupportive work life, Amy’s insensitive but loving father (the man who taught her these words to live by), Amy’s sister and super awkwardly supportive family, and the long list of men. There seems to be just one thing missing: Bill Hader.
Seeing as this is a Judd Apatow film it’s no surprise that the runtime leans towards being a little too long, and the pull towards moving the story forward grows pretty strong with the anticipation of the comedic duo coupling promised to us. We’re not talking Leslie Mann in Funny People amounts of waiting, but the lackadaisical route towards the main love interest of the film is fully explored, as editing choices lean towards the benefit of the jokes and not story progression. Are all those “wait, is he gay” jokes about John Cena worth it? Maybe. But I could have just as easily done without them had this meant that more time would be dedicated to the two leads.
Following the bumpy first impression, the indifference continues as all signs point to a lack of hitting it off. Yet next time you know Hader’s character really likes her even though the scene we just came from points to quite the opposite impression and feelings. Did we just skip a few steps or is LeBron James enthusiasm just that contagious? Maybe in addition to being the champion of basketball he’s also the MVP of convincing someone to go against all the signs as Hader decides that pursuing a relationship with Schumer is the correct path forward. Side note: LeBron James is the best part of the movie. These are words I never thought I would say.
The relationship building may be lacking, the forced conflicts come off weaker than they should, but there is still enough charm from both Schumer and Hader to pull the nitpickers like me back in, flaws in structure and all.