Review – Schumer Doesn’t Jump the Rails (“Trainwreck”)

Amy Schumer. You know her from her Peabody Award winning cable TV show on Comedy Central (Inside Amy Schumer) and one helluva writer and comedienne. Breaking into the movie biz isn’t easy, especially for a TV writer who’s only written SNL-type skits and done stand-up. But this young lady has pulled a hat trick and delivered the goods by writing a biting, satirical, raunchy, and sweetly sentimental motion picture about a schlubby personification of herself.
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Amy Townsend (Schumer) is a successful writer at S’NUFF, a bizarre men’s magazine in NYC. She’s also a slut, a drinker, a jerk to others, and impossible not to like. In her childhood, her father (Colin Quinn) told her and her sister that monogamy isn’t realistic, so Amy has taken that to heart, sleeping around and never staying overnight and never committing to anyone. Her sister, Kimberly (Brie Larson) however, has married herself a nice guy (Mike Birbiglia) that Amy constantly puts down.

Amy’s only close friend is Steven, (John Cena) a Baymax-sized weightlifter and dim-bulb that breaks-up with Amy after she admits to having multiple affairs. But things all change when Amy’s crazy boss (Tilda Swindon looking, as Monty Python says, completely different) assigns her to do a piece on sports doctor, Aaron Connors (Bill Hader). He’s a super-nice guy, a humanitarian, and is best friends with basketball star LeBron James. Needless to say, their interview goes off hincky at first, but after a date and a sleep-over (breaking her own rules), she’s appalled and confused that Aaron still likes her. What’s going on here? Yup, it’s love!

Romance is in the air for Amy, and it’s scaring her because it’s for the first time… ever! Through silly love montages and painful trips to see her father in the convalescent home, Amy’s world is turned upside-down. However, relationships are a tricky thing, especially if you’ve never been in one before, and Amy can’t cope with Aaron being in love with her. The pressures at work, Kimberly’s recent pregnancy, and the sudden news of her father’s passing make her act out against Aaron, and she loses him quickly. But, in those typical heart-pulling third-act solutions, Amy realizes her own worth and decides to go after Aaron in a rousing ending that is ridiculously sentimental.

Written by Schumer and directed by raunch-master Judd Apatow, you can sense the fun everyone was having making this movie. A stellar cast, there’s many of Schumer’s friends from her TV show, plus many other sports and movie celebrities popping up in cameos. Not just a stand-up comedienne, this young lady can act! She delivers the goods whether it’s a  heart-breaking scene or a hysterical throw-away look. Hader’s chemistry with Schumer is SO believable that you honesty think they’re a real-life couple (they’re not!). And who know LeBron could act?

There’s also some delicious side plots and throw-aways tossed in for just plain fun, like Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei starring in a cinema noir movie called, The Dog Walker, an intervention for Aaron with Crissy Everet, Marv Albert, and Matthew Broderick, and a pre-operation scene for Knick’s star Amare Stoudemir that’s a hoot!

Wedding Crashers (2005)

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Two amoral jerks for the price of one! One of the best comedy tag-team duos on screen since Hope and Crosby is Vaughn and Wilson. That’s Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, BTW. Together they’ve made this and The Internship, but it was this movie that made them comedy team gold.

Their day jobs are divorce mediators, but John Beckwith (Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vaughn) are two lovable, unscrupulous cads and best buds that crash high-class wedding parties to meet and bed women, and always working from a set of “rules” taught to them by a retired master-crasher, Chazz Reinhold (Will Farrell). They’ve been at this SO long, they’ve gotten pretty good at it, and have never formed any attachments with any of the ladies they’ve bedded. After all, rules are rules.

At a particularly big wedding where William Cleary’s (Christopher Walken), the Secretary of the Treasury daughter is getting married, the boys set their sights on Cleary’s other daughters, loopy and energetic Gloria (Isla Fisher) and beautiful Claire (Rachel McAdams). But this escapade turns into a nightmare when Jeremy has sex with Gloria and finds out she’s batspit crazy and “a Stage 5 clinger”. But John is infatuated with Claire’s rare beauty, smarts, and innocence. Problem is, she’s got a jerk of a possessive boyfriend, Sack Lodge (Bradley Cooper). Seeing an opportunity to win Claire’s heart, John accepts dinner at the Cleary’s, much to the consternation of Jeremy, who’s still got Gloria hanging off him like a goofy love-struck teenager.

At the palatial estate, they meet the Cleary’s very odd son, Todd (Keir O’Donnell), who fancies himself a painter. . . a rather provocative painter. Anyway, things go south during a “friendly” game of touch football and, what I can tell you, things escalate badly very quick. Claire soon sees Sack as the big bully that he really is and dumps him, but not before Sack forces John and Jeremy to reveal to everyone the wedding crashes that they really are.

Naturally, the third act is John and Jeremy feeling the pang of rejection for their past sins and the climatic reconciliation with Gloria and Claire, after they all realize that they were meant for each other… and they all like crashing weddings together!

Bob Fisher and Steve Faber wrote a terrific screenplay here, but left enough room for the lightning fast ad-lib’s of Wilson and Vaughn. Director David Dobkin, who has had some pretty bad films (Fred Claus, R.I.P.D.) in the past, does this film right and delivers a hilarious romp with a great cast. It’s because of this movie I look for crashers at weddings now. Thanks, guys, appreciate it.

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