For Reel

Trainwreck (2015)
July 24, 2015, 1:58 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Judd Apatow
3 Stars
TrainwreckComedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer just wrapped up its third season, which saw the comedian at her most assured as a performer and comic mind, using risky structural strategies (as in the masterful “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer”) and elevating the expectedly confrontational approach to gender. She’s at the forefront of a feminist comic movement that is ofttimes just as critical of a woman’s approach to gender as a man’s–to her, every person is the butt of a joke, with insecurities being highlighted in a way that shows that everyone is their own self-parody. It’s something of a disappointment, then, that Trainwreck feels largely like well-trodden romantic comedy material, particularly a last act that isn’t willing to create new expectations about a heroine in this type of film, but rather strangely participates in a very conservative idea about what it means to “settle down.” Director Judd Apatow has a remarkable knack for bringing likable casts together and sharing with audiences what it is like to be in their company, but as time has gone by his sentimental side has felt more calculated than it did in its crude, honest roots in Freaks & Geeks or even The 40-Year-Old Virgin. While Schumer and Bill Hader have such a good chemistry and comic report that one is forgiving of other shortcomings, the growing tediousness of the film would suggest that there’s little beyond the surface. These aren’t so much well thought out characters engaging in interesting conversations, but rather affable people thrown together and told to be funny. It works for a while, but not when the film asks you to cry with them.

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