Trainwreck – 4/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

trainwreckTrainwreck – 4/5 – Judd Apatow; he is a very unique kind of storyteller.  When it comes to his films, he creates stories that blend comedic elements with heart.  From films like The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, he shows his ability to bring out a strong character perspective that’s funny, witty and heartfelt.  It has been a while since he has delivered a truly great film of this stature.  When I heard about this film, I was hoping for that feeling once again.  This film is not only a return to glory for his type of storytelling, but it also is a wonderful film that shows the heart of romance, but the comedic side of what can be formed from two distinct people in any kind of relationship.  Trainwreck is a film that will make you laugh, and show you realism in its rawest form.

Premise: Having been brought up believing monogamy in a while, a woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy.

In the lead role of Amy is comedian Amy Schumer.  As the lead, she plays a person that doesn’t really believe in ‘long relationships’.  She dates a lot of guys and parties hard; living life on the edge as someone that is single.  Her personality compliments her single life in a riveting way.  Her personal interactions show she’s hard nose, brass, blunt and overall, very sarcastic in her behavior.  These characteristics make her come across as unlikable (at first).  This is a great way to start with the development of her character, as it forms a path that develops a connection.  Ironically, as you watch her in the film, it providers an even flow that incorporates deeply moving characterization when she does begin to ‘fall in love’ with someone.  That person would be the subject of her next writing assignment; sports doctor Aaron, played by comedian Bill Hader.   When he comes into the picture, it provides a doorway to another part of Amy’s personality.  You watch as layers of humanism fracture her ‘shield’ of being single, seeing relevance of life, love and relationships come through her blunt behavior.  It is blunt and whimsical.  This charms you into finding the fault in her personality, as you grow to enjoy her character.  When it comes to Bill Hader’s character Aaron, he is the all around, hard working nice guy.  He has qualities that are contrasting to Amy.  He is subtle, low-key and keeps a very organized life.  There is a draw for him to Amy, as much as there is to him.  That relationship is welcoming, relevant and heartfelt.  You feel the layers of what a ‘developing’ relationship can be, pulling out the best in each other.  There chemistry is top-notch, and you believe them to be an actual couple.   With the rest of the cast, you have a lot of known names, as well as big cameos from sports athletes.  You can reference the list at the IMDB page.  What I can say about the supporting cast is that they help add human relevancy to the film.  This helps draw out the comedic elements to its highest points, as well as drag you into the emotional aspect of the direst moments.  Each of the supporting cast help bring out ‘conversational’ dialogue, one you believe that can happen on an everyday basis with friends, family and common acquaintances.  Two stand outs from that list of supporting characters is Colin Quinn as Gordon (Amy’s father) and the cameo as himself; Lebron James.  These two do a great job in adding layered personalities to an already stellar cast.  There posturing on both sides helps add depth to the main characters through the usage of ‘familiar’ dialogue; friendly banter that falls in line with the realism of the rest of the cast.  Even for the strong supporting cast, there were some obvious underused characters (like the sister of Amy and some of the co-workers at her job), but overall, this doesn’t hinder the enjoyment of the film.

The direction follows the backbone (by the numbers) romantic comedy.  You have two completely different characters that will (through some fateful and sometimes convenient plot device) fall in love, have some hysterical/dramatic moments, and eventually most confront the error in their ways and get together in the end.  What make this particular story stand out from all the other romantic comedies is this wonderful script (written by Amy Schumer herself) and the eye of the director (Judd Apatow).  His quasi take on ‘humanistic’ aspect through a comedic lens makes all his films (for the most part) stand beyond anything that is typical.  With that in mind, what you see in this film is a dynamic that branches into many different themes.  This includes these particular four elements:

Raunchy comedies

Relationship drama

Feel-good mantras

Life lesson/coming of age characterization

With these four elements, it grounds the story on a relevant thread while providing preposterous but hilarious situations.  Reiterating from above, we have Amy, living the life of a single lady.  She works for an entertainment magazine for Men and parties every night while hooking up with many guys (even at the behest of her Sister and sometimes Father).  Through some plot forced devices; her next assignment involves writing about a famed Sports Doctor, Aaron.  This begins a changing of Amy’s personality, as you begin to see a crack in her ‘single ladies’ armor.  She experiences different feelings.  She begins to experience the early stages of love.  From here, the film flows (seamlessly) the aspects of all four elements mentioned earlier.  In general, you get to watch a build up of the characters, while also providing a great mix of witty dialogue, satirical humor and heartfelt moments.  You see the greatness in what makes love possible.  The fragility causes Amy and Aaron to face each other as a reflection of a real future together; grounding an aspect of many real traits of relationships.  As the movie moves from its building first act to its middle, you continue to see the deeper aspect of characterization.  This help flushes out the comedy, romance and drama filled elements, which reflects the strength is the script.  As we get into deeper meanings of personal growth, family and fateful changes, you watch the molding of the comedy and social elements together.  The film goes above and beyond the drama and comedy, and molds into what Apatow has become known for … Dramedies.  You see a purpose in the overall themes, but still have the fun, laughter and raunchy situations happen.  The one thing that happens in this niche of Apatow is exposition.  There is a lot of exposition that happens, and it does (at times) drag you out of the film.  This happens at a minimum, but even as it happens, you are still entertained by what is happening.  Once we hit the climax, all comes to head in a very ‘common’ but clashing of emotions and Amy and Aaron have to come to the realization of what they truly want.  At this moment in the film, you watch as all the themes converge and everything comes to head in positive way.  We then hit the typical ‘Apatow’ ending, with your ominous ‘feel-good’ epilogue.  As you come to the end of the film, you watch as there is strength of this story, as it plays against humanistic tones and well develop characters. What you come to realize is that this film stands higher than any typical comedies because of the script. Amy does a great job in tackling clichés of what society ‘gleams’ as true, and breaking those social archetypes and showing there are layers in all the characters.  That rawness of showing what life, love and family is gives this film a progressive element that makes it a memorable experience.

Visuals of this film are of the basic quality.  Since the focus is on story, script and characters, we get a ‘generalization’ of real life.  In this film, it focuses on New York City.  It is basic, aesthetic and grounded to provide a realistic appeal (visually) for the film.  The score is worth noting it is there.  You have your common musical soundtrack that shows its ‘modern’ aspect, but it has no real affect on the film.

Trainwreck is a refreshing kind of story of the human heart.  It mixes humor, romance and well developed characters into one film.  Judd Apatow is at his finest when he blends the seamless aspect of human nature into raunchy humor.  Not since The 40 Year Old Virgin have I had an experience like this from him.  This is one of his best films since then, and a great, fun and wonderful film to see at the theaters.

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