trainwreck— by Alan Yudman

Amy Schumer is a brilliant stand-up and sketch comedian. Just look at some of her Inside Amy Schumer shows on Comedy Central. But if you really want to get “inside” Amy Schumer then you have to see TRAINWRECK. It’s a semi-autobiographical look at a woman who acts more like a guy. The movie begins with her father (Colin Quinn) hilariously warning her and her sister Kim that monogamous relationships are not realistic. Amy is the embodiment of her fathers advice. Her sister is not. Kim is married with a stepson and another child on the way. Amy sometimes wakes up and doesn’t know where she is. Whose bed? Which borough? But it seems to be working for her until her editor at a men’s magazine assigns her to write a profile on a sports medicine doctor (Bill Hader). The two fall for each other. Hard. Amy is confused by all this. She thinks her sister is the one who is crazy. A relationship? Whaaaatttt?? How Amy deals with all of these new, unfamiliar feelings is the central comedy of the film. But there is more. Quinn is absolutely brilliant as the bitter, M.S. afflicted dad. His scenes are all gold. Hader continues to prove how good an actor he is. More than just Vincent Price and Stefan, Hader really pulls off the straight-man enabling Amy’s relentless disfunction. The movie is filled with great performances. Lebron James (yes, Lebron James!) as Hader’s patient/friend really has some chops and a feel for comedy. Tilda Swinton is unrecognizable as Amy’s completely inappropriate editor. Dave Attell is the homeless guy who lives outside Amy’s building, but is also kind of her conscience and delivers some great punchlines. John Cena also is surprisingly adept at comedy. He plays Amy’s boyfriend and has two brilliantly funny scenes. One where he tries to talk dirty during sex, the other in a movie theater. But Amy is the star here. The script is brilliant, hilarious and poignant. It is true to Schumer’s talent for using comedy to make cutting social satire. Schumer is a great comedic actress also, and that should not be glossed over. Her commitment is obvious and her ability to make you weep is as important as her talent for making you laugh. TRAINWRECK is one of the best comedies I’ve seen in a while. And you should see it too. — Alan Yudman

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