Trainwreck has a wicked sense of Schumer

MoviesBy Esther McCarthy
Trainwreck has a wicked sense of Schumer

AMY SCHUMER is worth all of the hype.

The US actress and comedienne makes her debut in a lead movie role and truly delivers. Encouragingly, it’s the script, also penned by Schumer, that is the stand-out here, and heralds her as a promising new talent in cinema. 

Still, Trainwreck is not the cutting-edge revamp of the rom-com that its makers might have you believe.

In fact, it’s as conventional as movies of this genre come, particularly in the final hour. But you’ll be laughing too loud to care. 

The other surprise about Trainwreck is that it has some real heart at its core, a quality often found wanting in Judd Apatow-directed movies. 

Highlighting her claims that the story is to some extent biographical, Schumer casts herself as Amy, a hard-partying thirty-something magazine writer who doesn’t believe in commitment, an outlook that has been drummed into her since childhood by her philandering dad (Colin Quinn). 

Even though her sister Kim (Brie Larson, excellent) has settled into marriage and family life, Amy lives by the short fling code — and most don’t even last beyond one-night stands.

But her outlook is called into question when she’s hired to profile a top sports doctor, Aaron Connors (Hader), for her magazine.

He’s mature, calm and looking for a girlfriend — and it’s not long before Amy’s running scared.

The film has a lot of fun with twisting the male and female conventions we often see in movies of this kind. It’s a story where the women fear commitment and men watch Downton Abbey, where women avoid calling after dates and where men talk about feelings. 

It’s not as subversive as it sets out to be, nor as smart as it thinks itself, but there’s no faulting Trainwreck for its entertainment value or personality.

The script is often laugh-out-loud funny and the humour doesn’t feel as cynical as a great many bawdy comedies.

And it takes some surprising diversions, building romance and even pathos between the laughs. 

Hader is great as an unconventional romantic lead and a shoutout, too, for the great Tilda Swinton, having a blast as a bitchy magazine editor. But this is Schumer’s film, and if she can keep penning scripts of this calibre, we’ll be hearing a lot more of her.  

The Verdict: A wickedly funny and surprisingly touching rom-com. 

Trainwreck (16) 4/5 STARS