Thoughts on… Trainwreck (2015)

timthumb-1Directed by Judd Apatow, Trainwreck (2015) is a romantic comedy written by Amy Schumer, with her characteristic sharp wit and sexual overtones. Its synopsis is as follows:

Having thought that monogamy was never possible, a commitment-phobic career woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy. (source)

I actually saw this film at the cinema ages ago, and I intended to write an “Is it worth paying for a ticket?” review for it. But time passed me by, and my draft post sat gathering dust. Here is a collection of my thoughts that I would have included in a full review of the film.

  1. When I first watched this, I really liked it. It was funny.
  2. But upon reflection, now that it’s been a good few months since I saw it at the cinemas, I’ve found the film more and more forgettable as time goes by.
  3. And not for any particular reason. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen better films since, or maybe it’s because romantic comedies are usually deleted from my memory pretty soon after watching them.
  4. Trainwreck was an enjoyable cinema-going experience. Lots of laughs, with humour for both the ladies and the guys. But there’s something about it that I can’t quite place, that doesn’t sit well with me.
  5. Most importantly, the voiceover was the worst. I feel like voiceovers in films are 80% unnecessary and can be done away with if the story is told right. Voiceovers are like the lazy film’s way of telling rather than showing the story, and by and large are cheesy and distracting. If a film needs a voiceover to tell you what’s going on, then it’s not a well-told film.
  6. I also felt that the part of the story where a certain family member passes away felt like a cheap throw-in to make the audience feel a variety of emotions. It felt forced and strange.
  7. Amy Schumer is funny though. I like her stand-up comedy, and I like how ruthless she is in terms of discussing female sexuality. Even though she apparently doesn’t like being labelled a ‘sex comic’.
  8. The comedy in Trainwreck centres around sex and genitals and periods and other sexuality-based stuff, and to a certain extent it doesn’t reflect the social insight that can be found in Schumer’s stand-up comedy and in her television series, Inside Amy Schumer.
  9. I think what made me enjoy watching this film in the moment, but also forget it soon afterwards, is the film’s distinct lack of depth. Amy in the film is predictable and can be annoyingly transparent, which means that by the end you don’t really care too much about anything.
  10. However, I loved Bill Hader, and LeBron James’ cameo was surprisingly hilarious. Also Tilda Swinton is always the best.
  11. And Daniel Radcliffe is amazing as ‘The Dogwalker’ in The Dogwalker.
  12. The film itself isn’t surprising though. It plays to a lot of romantic comedy conventions which makes the story easy to pick. But it’s funny in the moment, and if you’re after a film to make you laugh in the here-and-now, then it’s worth a watch.

3/5
Watch the trailer here.

18 comments

  1. Forgot all about “The Dogwalker”, really loved that.

    1. It was a really unexpected moment!

  2. I still think very highly of this film up until the last 20 minutes or so when it started to drag in classic Apatow fashion. I think my favorite cameo was John Cena, and I never expected that.

    1. Now that you mention it, most of Apatow’s films do tend to have that drag towards the end, as if they ran out of steam. John Cena was great though.

  3. I forgot all about The Dogwalker until now! Reading your post has reminded me how much I enjoyed Trainwreck when I watched it, but just like you, now it’s been a few months I can barely remember it! Which is a shame… 😦
    – Allie

    1. It is a bit of a shame! Funny how some films just fade away in the brain, even the ones with stand-out moments like The Dogwalker.

  4. Nice review. I skipped this one since I generally hate Apatow’s movies. 🙂

    1. Thanks Keith! This one is very Apatow-ish so you may want to keep skipping it.

  5. Hader rescued that movie for me. Cannot stand Schumer. She should hang out with Dunham and create the most disgusting comedy duo ever.

  6. Missed this at the cinema but will probably watch it on Virgin Movies later. It looks good but I’m not rushing to see it.

    1. Yeah, it could probably be a good pick-me-up kind of movie on a grey day, but no rush!

  7. This movie really confused me. I also saw it at the cinemas and have a draft post gathering dust. I appreciate the strong career orientated woman angle….. but she is working at the equivalent of an FHM magazine. Which have woman wearing barely anything plastered all over the front. I also don’t understand how sleeping around equates to being a strong woman, if that is what the first act of the film was going for.

    1. Yeah, I guess it all depends on the female character’s perspective and whether working for a generally female-unfriendly kind of magazine and sleeping with lots of dudes is a part of her personal agency and choices as a woman. It probably suited Amy’s character in the film given her frame of reference for relationships was a father who taught her to dislike monogamy!

      1. Oh yeah it totally suited her character, but I’ve read people championing this as a feminist movie… I’m not anti-feminist in any way but those things you mention… is that what makes a strong woman? Or is it just cos the lead character is a female (for once)? Either way I don’t get that, but I do get what you’re saying.

        Sorry if that made no sense!

  8. abbiosbiston · · Reply

    I think I have to agree with you on this. It was such fun when I watched it but I can’t remember much about it now.

    1. Some films just have that gradual amnesia effect over time!

  9. […] fact, Showgirls may be one of those trainwreck (no, not Trainwreck) type of films where it’s so bad that you can’t look […]

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