Off the rails: A review of Trainwreck

Trainwreck (2015)

Trainwreck (2015)

Firstly, I mean off the rails in the best possible way, as in, rude, crude and wild, a comedy that earns its stripes by being downright dirty yet sort of dignified, in its own strange way. Lets jump straight in and say that Trainwreck has been a hit, and is as close to a new Bridesmaids as we’ve yet had, and will likely make Amy Schumer a movie star as well as her current TV stardom.

It’s a really great film that benefits from a number of things, firstly, it’s funny, not quite as funny as I was hoping, but it has a lot of great jokes and lots of really great funny performances. Secondly, it has a secret heart hiding beneath its exterior, revealing many true heart felt scenes that are both very touching and very true. Thirdly, it invokes When Harry Met Sally, its New York setting, the romance between the two leads revolving around the subject of sex, and the classic rom-com staples, including the faults and conversations between the two, being both real and engaging.

The film almost does go off the rails at the beginning, Amy as Amy, is obnoxious and kinda horrible in the first act, she treats anyone who doesn’t think like she does, as boring or weird, which leads her to some troubled places, but eventually towards exciting prospects. Even though Trainwreck sticks to the most classic of classic rom-com staples, it also has more character depth then is expected.

This is where it succeeds, Amy DOES start out as unlikable, but throughout the film we begin to like her more and more, until she becomes a protagonist we root for. Bill Hader as the ‘Harry’ plays well as a romantic lead, being nice and normal but with faults of his own. They have great chemistry together and keep you invested in their lives, even when you think they might be in the wrong.

The script works well at crafting an actual story instead of just a joke dispenser, Amys personality comes from her father’s influence when she was a kid, now she looks after him in a home, but still continues to live up to his example. This is where the film gains its traction, she still loves her dad even though he’s a mean spirited person, and we understand her trouble in letting go of her ways.

With a relationship with Bill Haders doctor on the cards, we see the development of the relationship in classic style, but, as with the best comedies, it doesn’t try to askew them or change them, but embraces the substance that makes them special and plays the cards in its own way.

The rest of the cast are all fantastic and funnier than the leads, LeBron James and John Cena are both surprisingly hilarious as muscly sporty types who challenge sterotypes, and Tilda Swinton proves to be a huge surprise in an unrecognisable role, that I didn’t know was her until she showed up in the credits. Other than that Brie Larson, as Amys sister, is the loveliest thing in the film, proving that she’s a star in the making. Her family is the antithesis of Amys life and her son, initially set up as someone Amy finds mockable, because he so opposes her ideals, but towards the end there’s an incredibly touching scene involving Minecraft that changes everything and the way she views him.

What we get in the end is a funny, warmhearted, comedy that is When Harry Met Sally meets Bridesmaids and even though it sometimes stretches outrageous awkward comedy scenes to its limits, starts with an unlikable character and is fairly cliche in rom-com terms, it manages to pull it together to produce a loveable and watchable film.

Rating: B+  8/10

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