“Trainwreck” is the opposite of its title


Maxine Minalga – Special to Southern News

Despite the well named title based on Trainwreck’s plot, the effect is just the opposite. Amy Schumer took on double the work shining brightly through this witty, comical and insightful movie as not only the main actress, but the screenplay writer.

Schumer teamed up with director Judd Apatow to create what ABC’s David Blaustein described as a movie that “delicately branches irreverent raunch with candid insights into the give-and-take of grown-up relationships.” From the soundtrack to the make-up artists to the set decorators, Trainwreck and the crew rightly deserve the 85% review from the critical website Rotten Tomatoes.  

Apatow rounded up quite the cast for this movie with comedian, Amy Schumer who has never been asked to carry out to a movie before, along with famous athletes Lebron James and John Cena, who do an excellent job pursuing their characters.

Similar to the Shaun White scene in “Friends with Benefits,” Daniel Radcliffe makes quite the random appearance in this movie as well. Along with Radcliffe follows a person also more familiar with the acting world, Bill Hader, who perfectly portrayed his character Aaron Conners, a sports surgeon. But when features writer for a lifestyle magazine, Amy Townsend played by Amy Schumer lands an interview with a new subject Aaron Conners, things get pretty heated.

Apatow’s choice of starting the movie off in “medias res” then backtracking to the beginning was an impressive and creative way to hook viewers. At five-years-old sitting on the hood of her father’s car, Amy Townsend learns from her father that “monogamy isn’t realistic” which is the basis for her main character’s behavior throughout the whole movie. While her sister gets married and starts a family of her own, Amy pummels into the deep depths of living her life through various blacked out nights and mornings waking up in unfamiliar bedrooms.  

Schumer subtly ricochets vital current issues in today’s society off of one liners that also provide momentary comic relief after an intense scene. From these scenes, various subliminal messages can be extracted when paying close attention to the relationships between adults and other adults, their families and jobs.

Amy Townsend is close with her father and sister. She often visits her father in a home where he struggles with taking his pills. The movie touches on the abuse of drugs and alcohol. In one scene, Amy and Aaron attend an important luncheon to celebrate Aaron’s accomplishments as a surgeon. The waiter asked Amy if she would like more wine and she said yes. Aaron reminded her it’s a luncheon to which she responded, “It’s wine. I’ll have some more.” Amy’s character is not only an alcoholic, but a pothead which becomes her way of coping and the main factor in which many arguments derive.

The movie also delves into familial issues such as coping with death and a half/step family where Amy’s dad doesn’t see her sister’s stepson as a real grandson and said that’s the reason he’ll get bullied on the playground at school. Along with these tough relationships, Amy Schumer captures the essence of new, adult love within the lines where Aaron Conners asks her to be his girlfriend. A very unfamiliar position for Amy, who has “monogamy isn’t realistic” drilled into her mind and a very tough job which sets boundaries between her and her love for Aaron and her work.

This movie is realistic. The soundtrack only played songs after an important scene took place and in between scenes which made viewers focus more on the actual lines being exchanged. The make-up artists and costume decorators stayed very natural and neutral throughout the movie, portraying Amy as the normal ambitious city girl writer she was and the other actors as normal everyday people. Amy Townsend never let her relationship with her dad stray. She always knew he had good intentions and she even used the snow globes he kept as memories as a symbol in the movie.

The Trainwreck layout is like tying a shoe: everything is always resolved with a small loop back around to an earlier important part of the movie and a tight pull at the end. For instance, Aaron sings Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” during surgeries to get through them and towards the end, Amy uses the song to resolve a fight with Aaron.

As a writer, it was only fitting for Amy to narrate in the beginning of the movie and finish it off at the end that same way as if she were writing the article the whole time. Narration gives a more personal aspect to the movie. In addition to the narration, Schumer and Apatow create a circular ending with it which was perfect for this movie because of how the rest is displayed with the constant loops and flashbacks. The variation between the narration in the beginning and the end showed Amy’s growth as a character and writer throughout the movie.

Apatow and the crew really deserve a round of applause and a standing ovation for this movie. Working with inexperienced actors and playing with simplicity and the less-is-more aspect was undoubtedly tough and courageous, but that is what made the movie extra special.

Rating: 4/5

Photo Credit: Metal Chris 

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