Monday, June 15, 2015


Trainwreck - 125min - R

My readers know that I am not a fan of crass humor. Crossing the good taste line just to make a joke and say, "look, I made a dirty joke, laugh at me" never impress me. Amy Schumer uses these themes but seems to play on just this side of the good taste line. I like it. I have never seen her show, primarily because I don't have cable but I am going to have to give her a look. She just made my watch list. Knowing what is good and what is crossing the line makes this a green light story.

Stories with character growth, either good or bad are super appealing to me. They are engaging. You take the journey with the characters. Amy starts out as a person who puts on the veneer of being fine and in control of her life but she looks and seems to be hurting and looking for something. She is a party girl and embraces the stereotype. She works as a journalist at a shallow mens magazine (Sorry if I was being redundant there). She has to do a story on someone who is not her type but who she has a connection with. They start a relationship and Amy really starts to take control of her life because of it.

Amy Schumer's character is enjoyable to watch. When I explained the premise, I know that it seems to have an anti feminist tone. She meets a man and he changes her for the better. I had a conversation about this with my wife and she said the story sounds like its switching up the guy is a playboy and finds the right girl to change him. I have to agree that if the genders were reversed we wouldn't be having this conversation. She meets him at a time in her life when she is ready for a change. She sees that her life isn't what it should be but she trapped by the attitudes and personalities of the people she works with. Their relationship is the new territory that she is trying out as she has never been ready for a real relationship.

Bill Hader plays Dr. Aaron perfectly. He has a great screen presence. He plays the straight guy to Amy's shenanigans in a way that is real. He blends the common man persona with specific hints of humor that accentuate the absurdity of the scenes without sounding condescending. Bill Hader is charming and intelligent in this role. He needs to get more work.

One bit that really ruins the movie for me is one scene at her father's funeral. Vanessa Bayer plays a work friend who is shallow and inappropriate. Her performance of this character is spot on, great character work. She makes a ham-handed attempt to pick up on a person of color in a completely racist way. It was played to be over the top, fine, but it completely ruined the emotional moment of the funeral scene. There was plenty of humor before the sequence and even during the eulogy Amy gives for her father. The emotional moment was at a perfect length without having to have a relief from the sad emotion. It was completely unneeded and cheapened the genuine emotion they were building up to.

I found that scene to be disrespectful. It was not that she was hitting on him at a funeral. It was not that it was racist. It was that the filmmakers were disrespectful to the emotional connection that the audience had with that scene. Because of that poor attempt at a joke we lose the gravity of the eulogy that Amy gives her father. That scene could have been so much more powerful if they hadn't wasted the momentum with that little throw away joke.

But one mistake in the entire film is not enough to tarnish the genuine fun this movie is. From my normal recommendations this is one that you leave the kids at home and anyone who is uncomfortable at a blue show and take your friends and enjoy this ride through one woman's growth and journey to a mature relationship.

What movie have you seen and enjoyed that is out pf character for your normal viewing?

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