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Movie Review: “Trainwreck”

Jul 152015
 
 By , July 15, 2015

Trainwreck

“Trainwreck” – a film review by Gary Chew

“Ribald” is a word seldom used now. Should you not know exactly what it means, a dictionary puts it this way: “… referring to sexual matters in an amusingly rude or irreverent way.”

This is all by way of saying that Amy Schumer’s summer movie is way more that just ribald. Man, it’s a train wreck! Actually, Trainwreck is a freakin’ laff smash … a bruising romcom crammed with slick writing (by Ms. Schumer), excellent acting and (there’s more) … packed with unrelenting laughs as much as Mad Max: Fury Road wouldn’t let you take a breath during that action earlier this season. Whew.

Trainwreck Trainwreck is directed by a guy you know whose last name is pronounced Apatow (rhymes with “know”) and famous for Knocked Up. Oh yes, Judd’s new movie is also rated R.

I spotted Amy Schumer on her ditsy, blue and clever Comedy Central gig sometime ago, and just recently found myself in stitches again (ensconced on my recliner) with her current and abbreviated small screen shenanigans known as Inside Amy Schumer. She played Sacramento before I knew who she was. Amy … Schaymee? I didn’t catch her Capital City act. My bad.

Schumer plays a woman named Amy. She lives in the Big Apple and works for a slimy magazine that’s published under the outrageous name of S’nuff. Amy’s boss is a bossy but hot middle-aged woman who assigns her to do an article on a up-and-coming sports physician played by Tulsa’s own Bill Hader, yet another SNL dude who’s been coming on strong. Hader’s character is Aaron.

TrainwreckFormer SNL-er Colin Quinn plays Amy’s dad, who has found through the years that monogamy isn’t really, uh … realistic. Amy has heard that since she was a little girl. She’s living her life accordingly, avoiding commitment — having internalized her father’s secular homilies about how stifling wedlock has been for him. Quinn is perfect.

Kim is Amy’s younger sister. Kim, played by the fetching Sacramento native Brie Larson, has a much more by-the-book lifestyle. She’s married. She and her husband have a cute little boy, and Kim’s got her second child gestating. Amy and Kim love each other, but that’s about as far as it goes in terms of how each gal enjoys the passage of time.

There are four actors listed in the cast with only the outrageous identification “One-night-stand-guy.” That should give you an idea how much of a rounder Amy of Trainwreck is. Each of those scenes is a total hoot. No nudity, but it’s pretty clear what’s going on with Amy and this string of guys.

But Aaron, the sports doc, has really taken to Amy. They proceed to spend time together so she can get out a fascinating article on him in the pages of S’nuff, thus kissing up to her in-your-face boss lady. Plus, Aaron’s profession allows a string of sports figures to file through the blue, fun Trainwreck. LaBron James would be one of those. Mr. James does his part quite well. Then there’s tennis star Chris Everett; and the sportscaster Marv Albert gets face time and speaks a few lines too. He sort of reminds me of a latter day Howard Cosell.

Other former Saturday Night Live-ers are Vanessa Bayer and Tim Meadows. Standup guy, Dave Atell shows up, and as if that’s not enough cameos, you can get a load of Matthew Broderick doing himself. Other quickie appearances are craftily penned into the script by Schumer: Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei in a black and white movie they watch, playing ordinary dog lovers who often take their mutts to a city park. Must have been fun for Daniel and Marisa doing that … and their pets.

But back to the plot: Amy begins to sense slippage toward a real relationship with Aaron. (Oh, who’d’ve thunk it?) Is she going to get her bawdy act together, thus following more closely on the path of her younger and pregnant sis? That’s for you to find out.

But here’s something you don’t have to go to a movie theater to learn, if you haven’t already heard: Amy Schumer is a cousin of U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York. I hear Fox News may be doing a three-part news documentary on that familial tie.

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Gary Chew was a classical music host, programmer and producer on Capital Public Radio’s KXPR 88.9FM, Sacramento for 18 years. He retired in January 2007. Read more about Gary's long and storied career here.
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  • Thomas Watson

    As with many Apatow directed films it does run a bit longer than it should but the emotion along with the laughs make it a great comedy for most.