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Trainwreck (2015)

August 3, 2015

Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Lebron James, Brie Larson
Director: Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Funny People)

Bottom Line: Trainwreck is comedian Amy Schumer’s first starring role and she quickly establishes that she can carry her own comedy. More impressive, she wrote the film herself and it’s plenty funny while providing an entertaining narrative. In the film, Amy plays a 20-something career girl that was taught by her father that a life of monogamy is unrealistic, so she spends her nights bar-hopping and bringing various men home only to send them on their way before they can even think about sleeping over. Through her job, she meets a sports surgeon played by Bill Hader and they develop a relationship unlike any she’s experienced before.

I have to say I was impressed with the cast in this movie. I wasn’t surprised at all that Amy Schumer was funny and likable even though her character had some rather despicable traits. I could tell by watching her stand up that she has plenty of charisma and that she could be a rising comedic star. Trainwreck proves this fact. It will be interesting to see if she can keep the ball rolling, as a lot of comic actors have a tendency to wear out their welcome rather quickly (does anyone still look forward to a Will Ferrell movie?). What did surprise me was Bill Hader, who really seemed to have only one gear during his Saturday Night Live tenure and I never was a big fan of his style on the show. He plays it rather straight in Trainwreck and it’s a nice change of pace. Hader actually has some acting ability – and he still managed to be pretty funny. What surprised me more than anything was how awesome Lebron James was in his role. Granted, most of the credit should go to Schumer for writing LBJ a great role, but Lebron hams it up wonderfully without being so tongue-in-cheek that he comes across corny. He crushed it and his appearances on screen were the best parts of the movie, which is unfortunate because he mostly disappears during the second half.

Like most Judd Apatow movies, Trainwreck runs unnecessarily long, which makes it feel like it’s dragging at times, but Trainwreck is his strongest film since 2007’s Knocked Up. It provides just enough humor and drama to give the audience a genuine investment in the film’s story. Trainwreck is a solid step in the right direction for Apatow and a coming out party for Schumer and Hader. I’m looking forward to what everyone involved has in store for the future.

Replay Value: I will watch it again, for sure.
Sequel Potential: No spin offs for bit characters please.
Oscar Potential: I was impressed with Bill Hader but this isn’t the kind of movie that the academy will think about or remember.

Grade: 6.5/10 (Recommended/Must See)

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