I like Judd Apatow and Judd Apatow movies. Even when everyone turned on him after Funny People and especially This is 40, I stuck with him. Sure, the privileged problems of the rich, white people of This is 40 were a little hard to sympathise with, but Apatow is funny enough that I could look past that stuff and just enjoy the ride. With Trainwreck, it seemed to be the least Judd Apatow movie ever made by Judd Apatow. He didn’t write it, and it’s not filled with his regular stable of actors. Written by its star, Amy Schumer, who I have little to no interest in, I couldn’t get excited about Trainwreck. But the reviews were just too good, so I caved in.
Raised by a father (Colin Quinn) who vocally apposed to the concept of monogamy, Amy (Schumer) has grown up taking his words to heart. While her sister (Brie Larson as Kim) lives the quiet, picket fence life with her husband (Mike Birbiglia) and step son (Evan Brinkman), Amy bounces from one casual encounter to the next, kicking men out of her bed and house the second the deed is done.
When not picking up strange, Amy works as a magazine journalist where her editor (Tilda Swinton) assigns her the job of writing a profile about Aaron (Bill Hader), a surgeon to America’s biggest sporting stars. Amy and Aaron have an immediate chemistry and quickly hook up. But when Aaron makes it clear that he’s interested in an actual grown up relationship, commitment-phobe Amy is scared that things are getting too serious.
On one level, I get why this movie has received pretty universally great reviews. It’s a story written by a women about a strong female character who lives her life on her terms. Trainwreck never punishes or judges Amy for her lifestyle and it manages to provide a strong feminist attitude in a movie genre usually dominated by men. All of that is a good thing. The only problem is, Trainwreck is a comedy that’s just not very funny.
Schumer obviously knows how movie structure works. Trainwreck tells its story well and gets to all the required beats at the required times. And even at two hours, it moves along at a sufficient enough pace that it never feels bloated or labored. But Trainwreck is so efficient at all that stuff, it never finds time for all that many jokes.