A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: Judd Apatow
Produced By: Judd Apatow
Written By: Amy Schumer
Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader
Running Time: 125 Minutes
Judd Apatow has never impressed me, nor has Amy Schumer. Needless to say, I was anything but salivating at the prospect of the two pairing up for 2015’s Trainwreck.
Expecting yet another dose of drawn out, boring, mediocre antics, Trainwreck delivered for the most part, however it wasn’t without its qualities. It most certainly wasn’t the films writer and star however…
A Judd Apatow plot can be summarised far too easily.
We begin with a down on their luck protagonist who bumps into someone more successful than them, from which an ‘odd-couple’ relationship forms and the protagonist tends to either drag the successful acquaintance down a peg, or vice versa.
Next, after we’re introduced to the protagonist’s unbelievably appealing and impressive job, we focus ever so briefly on the cocktail of supporting characters, shoehorned into the story to provide cheap laughs that even out the star, giving them some strength or redeeming quality.
After the forced-in cameos to say, “Hey, I’m Judd Apatow and I know people”, we are treated almost without fail, to an overly awkward scene of a sexual nature to conclude the second act.
Lastly, there seems to be a insistent need to bring a graphic dose of reality into Apatows pictures. Whether it be an unnecessary viewpoint during labour or a close-up of a knee be replaced, it simply never hits the mark and results in alienation, time after time.
It’s sad to say that Trainwreck is nothing out the ordinary for Apatow, even if the film written by Amy Schumer is somewhat autobiographical.
Amy (Schumer) grew up living by the mantra “monogamy isn’t realistic”; it seems modern day Amy has decided to turn a new leaf and leave her past behind in a cloud of debauchery, voluptuousness and inebriation.
Very much used to a life of various bed-fellows, heavy drinking and commitment issues, Amy’s life changes forever after she meets Aaron (Bill Hader), a sports surgeon with a very modest but successful and together lifestyle.
Regularly treating and socialising with the likes of LeBron James, Aaron finds some innocence within Amy, something to escape to, something to nurture; but Amy being Amy, tensions fly as she finds herself out of her comfort zone, uncharacteristically falling for Aaron as well.
Performances are standard in the style of Apatow “improv” comedy. Somewhat scripted but appearing seldom natural and unrehearsed, the style of humour is very short lived during these moments. It takes a special kind of talent to improvise some genuine humour, but sadly Apatow has not been able to capture the pure art from his actors.
To see LeBron James undertaking a cameo role, overtly delving into self-parody is humorous, for about twenty seconds. The aforementioned “look at me and who I’m friends with” attitude of Apatow is reflected in James, his sole purpose is to sell seats and earn a pretty penny on the side.
Unable to capture the quality and intelligence of The Simpsons, Zombieland or Happy Gilmore in regards to cameos, James feels forced, awkward and uninspired; a real let down.
Ultimately, Apatow has proven he is as predictable as we all feared. He’s not quite the comedic provocateur he thinks he is, nor is his creative counterpart Amy Schumer.
Her writing and acting weren’t anything extraordinary, but an Apatow film is never one to showcase anything Oscar-worthy. The comedy duo’s latest outing is not a total train wreck of a film, however it does derail in typical Apatow fashion towards its conclusion.