Trainwreck Doesn’t Crash and Burn, But It Also Doesn’t Come Into the Station Safely

For the fledgling romantic comedy genre, Trainwreck has served as a necessary film to help breathe back new life into the dying category. Thanks to Amy Schumer’s humorous brand of cynicism and uncomfortableness, Trainwreck is made palatable for those women (and even men) of the twenty-first century–as evidenced by the incessant cooing of audience members at scenes of semi-sentimental value.

Promo poster for Trainwreck
Promo poster for Trainwreck

Following the How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days formula, the story finds Amy (Schumer, who rarely likes to change her first name for a character) Townsend assigned an article for S’NUFF by her uppity yet fabulous editor, Dianna (Tilda Swinton, in a surprisingly femme role) that she isn’t really interested in writing about. The subject in question is sports medicine doctor Aaron Connors (Bill Hader), a mild-mannered sort who is immediately taken with Amy’s brashness and utter disinterest in sports (she, in fact, states that those who enjoy sports are “kind of lesser”).

Dianna, Amy's boss
Dianna, Amy’s boss

Unlike Kate Hudson, however, Schumer heavily incorporates the notion of daddy issues into the plotline, opening the film with a scene of her and her sister, Kim (Brie Larson), sitting on a car in front of their father, Gordon (Colin Quinn), who informs them he’s leaving their mother because, “Monogamy’s not realistic.” Thus, naturally, Amy makes it a point to become promiscuous in her later years, waking up in places like Staten Island to perform the walk of shame while everyone else goes to work.

Falling for the sports doctor
Falling for the sports doctor

Although she has a “steady,” Steven (John Cena), who she deems an “ice sculpture” due to his muscular build, his homosexual tendencies become too overt to bear–especially after a dirty talk session in bed reveals that he was only attracted to her from the back when he first saw her because she looked like a man. This leaves Amy wide open for Aaron, who seems to be best friends with LeBron James (a somewhat hokey element of the movie), adding to his cool cachet in spite of his seeming goy nebbishness.

BFFs with LeBron
BFFs with LeBron

With her father in a nursing home–the price point of which Amy and her sister fight over constantly–Amy’s vulnerable enough to let Aaron in. Poking fun at the cliche rom-com montage, Schumer shows us a montage of typical “falling in love” scenes that she narrates with disgust. The only problem with Aaron is his priggishness in the face of Amy’s vices–and although he claims her smoking, drinking and the number of men she’s been with doesn’t bother him, it becomes apparent that these things are a source of division between them.

With boxed wine at the movie theater
With boxed wine at the movie theater

The plot pretty much follows the standard rom-com formula from there, with an obstacle at the end of act two and a remedy in act three, peppered with a few random faux pas–like an unessential fake movie starring Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei and a cameo by Matthew Broderick–that make it slightly above your average rom-com of the past five years, thanks in part to the favoring of the comedy side of the genre (as one always expects with Judd Apatow-made films, Knocked Up being a prime case in point).