“Trainwreck” (2015) is one smooth comedic ride
“Trainwreck”(2015) wants to make sex unsexy. From one-night stands with a closeted bodybuilder and an Adderall-snorting adolescent to a frumpy housewife discussing her threeway, the film delights in society’s laughably libidinous underbelly. Today’s queen — or perhaps dominatrix — of sex as comedy is Amy Schumer, the writer and star of “Trainwreck,” as well as Comedy Central’s hit show “Inside Amy Schumer.” A modern day Mae West, Schumer is a gauche beauty queen that’ll tell you “my eyes are up here” but lets you keep ogling.
In the film, she’s so dolled up yet crude and ribald, one almost expects her to be a Wayans brother from “White Chicks”(2004). She lives a contradiction, subsisting on humorous one-night stands a la the cynical “monogamy isn’t real” philosophy of her love-bereft father while secretly praying for her Prince Charming. To fan the flames of her lust and self-loathing, she writes for S’Nuff, a men’s magazine led by a callous exec (an unrecognizable Tilda Swinton) who assigns articles like “Does Garlic Make Your Semen Taste Better?” and “You’re Not Gay, She’s Just Boring.” To boot, her sister has a family out of a Norman Rockwell painting, and an adoring husband whom Amy believes “teaches computer in a church basement.” Simply put, Amy is a damsel in distress roped to the tracks of loneliness and self-destruction, and no man can untie her in one night.
Sure enough, her next article assignment brings her to the office of Aaron Conners (Bill Hader) a smart, philanthropic, nerdy-cute sports doctor who looks after a veritable fantasy league of athletes, notably Lebron James (who makes a cameo), Roger Federer and Tom Brady. He proves to be the antidote to her serial hooking-up. They still have sex that night — come on, it’s Amy — but she breaks her golden rule: never sleep over. As if bemoaning the beginning of her transformation into a big studio golden girl, Amy wonders, “What’s happening to me?” However, she soon capitulates to Aaron’s hometown charm and stability. The article drops out of the picture, and soon they are laughing in bars, smooching in the subway and mocking scenes from “Manhattan” (1980).
The film then goes to Judd Apatow town, where it’s whimsically irreverent, down-to-earth and a bit too long. But Amy, Apatow’s first female lead, can deliver the filth, frumpiness and folly of his typical bromantic comedies while freshening them up with her enlightened, incisive perspective as a woman. Amy smokes pot, downs glasses of sulfurous white wine and takes the walk of shame, but she has a Groucho Marx tongue to back it all up — indeed, her mantra is “don’t judge me, f***ers!” When other housewives are gossiping about eating ice cream when their husbands are asleep or “explaining” gay people to their kids, Amy’s showing how she hooked a condom out of her hoo-ha.
Ultimately what makes Amy so watchable and laugh out loud funny is how unapologetically she embraces being a woman. She throws out all the magazine tenets of purity, politeness and correctness, and just owns “her number,” asks for morning mimosas sans O.J. and enjoys Nazi marching on a treadmill in front of Aaron. Although the film derails a bit when it has to meat-grind through Amy’s self-sabotage but inevitable rebirth into a dependent girlfriend, Amy always maintains her scatological spark. Lucky for us she does, for she brings Apatow out of an eight-year slump, and delivers his sexiest, sleekest and downright funniest film to date.
“Trainwreck” is now playing at The Nugget at 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.