20 Aug 2015

Trainwreck - film review

From At The Movies, 7:31 pm on 20 August 2015

Simon Morris reviews hit comedy Trainwreck, starring Amy Schumer, and finds it hard to know which sex comes off worse.

Trainwreck is the work of the latest hot comedienne to come out of American TV and standup. Like Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey and Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer taps mostly into women issues – notably in her TV series Inside Amy Schumer. So it was important for her first film – which she also wrote – that she kept it real as well as funny.

The film was directed by the godfather of the modern male sex-comedy, Judd Apatow, of Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin and This Is 40. Trainwreck turns the usual Apatow formula on its head. Now the immature, commitment-resistant star is a woman – though we’re told it all goes back to Amy’s useless father. And why should only men be allowed to be complete tossers in comedies, then get the girl in the end? Why shouldn’t modern chicks be able to make the same sort of mistakes?

The fact is, in a modern romantic comedy you can get away with pretty much anything, but only as long as the lead succeeds in winning us over from the start. If you don’t like the star – male or female – both the romance and the comedy are dead in the water.  And Amy Schumer – tough, funny, vulnerable and brave – has clearly hit the bull’s eye.

Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to At The Movies

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)