I am a big fan of female comedians. With very few exceptions, I tend to champion all women in comedy, I cannot stand the question “but are women really funny?” anymore and I’m 100% here for this new influx of female-led and female-written comedy movies. However, I was just never on board with Amy Schumer for some reason. You know when you just look at someone and instantly don’t like them? That’s not to say she isn’t talented or a hard-worker, but her style never quite fit with mine. However, I still wanted to watch “Trainwreck” since it also stars Bill Hader, one of my absolute favorite people, and because I was in the mood for a light comedy, I decided to do it this weekend.
“Trainwreck” is your usual rom-com, but the catch here is that the girl is playing the part that is usually reserved for the guy. Amy (Schumer) is a heavy-drinker and weed-smoker magazine writer who is repelled by the idea of monogamy, and instead finds herself in a series of one-night stands. When she is assigned a piece about sports, she meets sports-doctor Aaron (Hader), and the two hit it off immediately. We then see the development of this relationship, with Amy having to turn her life around in order to get the good guy, a trope we’ve seen gender-reversed in many other movies.
The Judd Apatow directed comedy has its strong moments. LeBron James as Aaron’s best friend was a good choice, and he brought in some of the funniest moments for me. The idea of a huge basketball star being crazy anxious to watch Downton Abbey is a great one. Tilda Swinton, who I thought was unrecognizable in Snowpiercer, looked even more terrifying here, under ten layers of makeup and fake-tan. It was fun to see her interacting with Ezra Miller, especially since I just talked about Kevin (see what I did there?) and had that image in my head. I’m biased, but I also really loved Bill Hader here. I think he’s one of the funniest people in the world, and I’d like to see him having more prominent roles.
However, I felt like, at times, the movie was aiming in all directions in order to shock people. Some of the jokes were unnecessary (the Woody Allen one comes to mind) and meant only to make the audience uncomfortable. I think a movie that has a main character that’s female, sexually confident and who plays a character usually reserved for men is already uncomfortable enough for many people, and there’s no need to make the people who are already on board with the movie feel bad about the jokes.
The reason why I’m not sure if I liked it is because I can see the good parts. There were emotional parts about Amy and Kim’s (Brie Larson) father, the relationship between Amy and Aaron was as well developed as any other romantic comedy, many moments were funny and I tend to really like Judd Apatow’s films. However, I found it hard to get past Amy Schumer because the movie has her identity so imprinted on it. I’m a white person in Brazil. When I travel to the United States, people usually have no idea that I’m from Brazil unless I tell them. However, just recently I’ve begun to be more aware of my identity as a Latino (but not Hispanic) woman, even if I don’t particularly fit the stereotype. So when Amy Schumer jokes about Hispanic men or crazy Latinas, I can’t help but take it personally and feel kind of offended, especially knowing how many people suffer because of these jokes. So this was an instance where the filmmaker’s (and star, in this case) outside life and overall attitude affected the product, and I do think I’d have enjoyed it more if it wasn’t for that. What did you think of “Trainwreck”?
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