The sparkling and multi-talented Amy Schumer is one of the most watched and talked-about comedians today. Recently she has been caught up in a political discussion about gun control after a tragic incident in a Louisiana movie theatre during a screening of her film, “Trainwreck.” Schumer wrote and stars in this tale that reverses the normal “promiscuous guy meets innocent girl” story line. Here the loose character is the girl, played by Schumer, and the good innocent guy is her romantic interest, “Gordon”, orthopedic surgeon to sports celebrities, played charmingly by Colin Quinn.
Schumer has shot to TV and Internet fame with her sarcastic, witty takedowns of celebrities. Here we see her unlock an uncharacteristic vulnerability, as she plays a writer who works for a celebrity scandal sheet. Her job is to dig up dirt on the stars. Surprisingly it’s our heroine, Amy, who can’t seem to wean herself from a life of one-night stands. Until — she is assigned to interview the orthopedic surgeon in order to gain access to the sordid lives (she hopes) led by him and his patients, who are basketball celebrities.
LeBron James and Amar’e Stoudemire offer standout performances as … themselves. These two basketball greats are already totally comfortable in the spotlight. They are able to pull off the difficult task of looking totally natural in their own skin. This is due in no small part to the skilled direction of Judd Apatow. Both guys are fun and fascinating to watch, which is really the bottom line of a strong performance. Another stand out is wrestling star John Cena, who has here mastered comedic nuance as a “straight man” jock. I hope we see more of him on screen.
Schumer successfully carries the central role of the story that she’s written and it’s intriguing to watch her play someone out of the range of her usual public image — her role in “Trainwreck” is a real and relatable character. She seems to embrace this starring role effortlessly. However, in a recent interview, she divulged that she worked out daily for weeks prior to the shoot, with a trainer who also dictated all her food choices. So, as is the norm, her performance was not as effortless as she makes it seem.
Very often in contemporary stories the classic Greek character of the soothsayer is a kid. Evan Brinkman is the soothsayer in “Trainwreck.” He brings the role to life with an endearing sharpness as the nerdy tween step-nephew. Tilda Swinton delivers a spot-on turn as an icy magazine editor with a fierce laser point focus on getting the first scoop on every celebrity calamity. Marisa Tomei and Daniel Radcliffe (an unexpected pairing) have nice cameos in a film within the film.
Apatow has directed a fun and multifaceted cast with skill. The story moves with a good rhythm and each character is complex and real — and funny. We can relate! This refreshing rom-com with an edge is populated with players we all know from our own lives.
Rated R. 125 minutes.
Kathryn Whitney Boole was drawn into the entertainment industry as a kid and never left. It has been the backdrop for many awesome adventures with crazy creative people. She now works as a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.For previously published reviews, see https://kwboole.wordpress.com.