|movie review | March/April 2016
Trainwreck takes the rom-com genre for a ride
by Anita Casey-Reed
Relationships are all about connection. Sometimes it's on a physical level, sometimes it's on an emotional level, and (occasionally) sometimes it can actually be on both. With most romantic comedies, the male lead is the one out playing the field, happy enough keeping romantic rela-tionships on the physical level -- until, of course, The Right Girl comes along. With "Train-wreck", Amy Schumer tweaks that formula, infuses it with her own raunchy sensibility, and de-livers one of the better comedies of the past year.
Schumer, who also wrote the film, stars as Amy, a New Yorker who kicks each guy to the curb decisively after their one-night stand is over before stumbling in to her job at a glamorously snarky magazine. One of her conquests (John Cena) thinks that their occasional movie dates be-tween sexual encounters mean that they're on the road to matrimony and a passel of kids. That's not happening.
Just as Amy is at a tipping point in her life (sister happily married and raising a family, father entering a nursing home, big promotion at her job within reach), she's given the assignment to interview a well-known surgeon who works primarily on top athletes. Aaron (Bill Hader ) is a paragon of virtues: smart, lovable, kind-hearted to everyone, funny, and good in bed. Of course she immediately sleeps with him, but finds herself now breaking all of her own dating rules. Staying over, seeing him again, and even acquiring a second toothbrush as this new relationship begins to take form.
As always in such comedies, Aaron has a best friend who worries for him and encourages him to give this new love a try. Unlike most comedies, the best friend is LeBron James, playing himself as a Downton Abbey-loving romantic who tried to sell Hader's character on the virtues of beauti-ful Cleveland, Ohio. Yes, you kind of have to see it to believe it.
Of course, Amy and Aaron's relationship will hit snags because of work and family pressures, and after doing something incredibly stupid and losing it all, Schumer's character will make a grand gesture to declare her love and show she's ready to connect emotionally. Were you expect-ing something different? For better or for worse, "Trainwreak" is married to the format of Hol-lywood romantic comedies. But that doesn't stop it from providing plenty of laughs along the way.
The film is rated R for sexual situations, nudity, a bit of language and drug use.
Anita Casey-Reed is a member of the Cinema 100 Film Society, a volunteer for the Dakota Digital Film Festival and co-host of "Reel Retro" on Dakota Media Access. She lives in Bismarck with her husband and two children.