November 27, 2015


Judd Apatow, 2015
Apatow's last two full feature films, This is 40 and Funny People, did not live up to how good Knocked Up was. This is probably because Apatow wasn't really a present force in Knocked Up, already living the life of a married guy with kids. There was a certain organized simplicity that Knocked Up had going for it. The latter two films felt like there was a lot of forced messages within them. As if Apatow had a lot to say and had to inject it into the meat of those two films. Not that he is not an interesting guy, he undoubtedly is. But maybe his married guy angst is better served on the stage in front of a crowd, and not in front of a screen. Maybe they should be two separate things. Okay, now back to his movie. Judd Apatow set out to prove two things with his latest comedic installment. One - that he is able to finally top his best work in Knocked Up. Two - that Judd has a lot of friends in Hollywood. Particularly a lot of comedian friends. Trainwreck, written by the super talented and super funny Amy Schumer, loads up on comedian cameos (Dave Attell, Jim Florentine, Bobby Kelly, Mike Birbiglia). But it doesn't stop with comedians. Unexpected roles by John Cena and Lebron James add some of biggest laugh out loud moments. The casting process must have been a lot of fun. The editing process was probably also a lot of fun. Shit, the whole movie was probably a blast to make.

Schumer is kind of the perfect woman to put in the role of the very sexually active fun-seeker who likes a few pops and isn't ready to settle down and get serious in life. Bill Hader is kind of the perfect guy to compliment that fun-seeker as the square sports medicine guy who hasn't had much luck in the dating world. Credit is really due to Schumer. She really puts herself out there. Very much like Cameron Diaz did in There's Something About Mary. Moments of self-deprecation. Embarrassing romantic moments.

So much of the film feels identifiable, fresh, fun and original. Solid laughs all around. Definitely one of the most genuinely funny comedies to come out in the past five years. The film has the signature Apatow theme of feeling a tad long; but it's forgivable because there are laughs to be had up until the final moments. Trainwreck has the honesty and edginess to call it this generations Annie Hall, or at least this generations Annie Hall as told by Amy Schumer. It breaks down the conventions of the modern romantic comedy. And just when you think it's going to take a turn down cliche Avenue, it jerks the wheel in the other direction. She's going places, that Amy Schumer.

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