Schumer and Hader Make “Trainwreck” Phenomenal

By Scott Kurland
Film: Trainwreck
Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Colin Quinn, Brie Larson, Tilda Swinton, John Cena, and LeBron James
Rated R
Director: Judd Apatow

    The success of Amy Schumer may seem like an overnight story. I assure as someone who follows stand-up comedy, Schumer is no 15 minutes of fame. Schumer began in 2004 appearing Live at Gotham. Schumer even appeared on last comic standing and didn’t make it her first try. Then Schumer started to get notice on the “Comedy Central Roasts”, the adult swim show “Delocated”, and this lead to her hysterical 2013 sketch show “Inside Amy Schumer”. This week’s film “Trainwreck” was written by and stars Schumer alongside Bill Hader with the film being directed by Judd Apatow. Let’s find out if her hot streak continues shall we?

   “Trainwreck” is the story of Amy Townsend (Schumer), a journalist for a men’s magazine called S’nuff. Although Amy is one of, if not the best writer, she is a mess. Amy drinks way too much, smokes too much marijuana, and has so much sex that Wilt Chamberlin would be jealous. Amy’s sister, Kim(Brie Larson) thinks this behavior stems from admiring their father, Gordon (Colin Quinn). This might also be due to the fact that Gordon demonstrated the same behavior in his marriage to their mother. Amy’s life changes quickly when her tyrannical boss (Tilda Swinton), asks her to due an expose on a hot shot athletics surgeon named Aaron Connors (Bill Hader). What Amy doesn’t expect is for Aaron to turn her world upside down.

    The combination of Apatow and Schumer is inspired thinking. Apatow is one of Hollywood’s best comedic directors. I’ve loved everything he’s directed, some films(“Funny People”) more than others (“This Is 40”), but I’ve always given him high marks. Schumer on the other hand is just adorable. She’s crude, beautiful, and everyone loves her. If Colin Farrell can be the bad boy that women want for themselves, it’s safe to say that Schumer is that equivalent for men. This combination works so well on screen. Schumer’s writing is at time brash and blunt, however it is also real and heartfelt too. Apatow’s direction has always been an equal balance of comedy and cinema verite. At times we feel like a fly on the wall and I found myself wondering should we be seeing these conversations? The short answer is yes. I’m predicting come award season Schumer’s screenplay will be nominated for best original screenplay.

    I don’t know what it is about Bill Hader as Aaron Connors, but he just proved he’s the American verison of Colin Firth. As Connors, Hader is kind, charming, and incredibly patient in dealing with Amy’s nonsense. Hader has said countless times before that he was shocked when Apatow cast him as the male lead. I wasn’t surprised. If you saw “The Skeleton Twins” or “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” you know he has that ability. Hader has always been one of my favorite actors. He pretty much carried SNL on his back after Wiig and Samberg left. It is fantastic to see him getting roles like this and I predict bigger things in his future.

    I’m going to come out and say it, this may sound shocking. It may even sound alarming to hear, but bear with me. If Colin Quinn and Tilda Swinton don’t get nominated for Oscars for Best Supporting Actor and Actress it will be a shame. Quinn has always been a comedian’s comedian, this everyman with a chip on his shoulder, and he brings that persona to this film and sells it. Gordon is just a brash as Amy, but he is also full of fears and pain. Listening to him deliver speeches that are loaded with insults is delightful, and I think this is one of the best supporting roles of the year. I would love to see him rewarded for it at Oscar time. 

    As for Swinton, I hardly recognized her, which isn’t surprising. Swinton is a chameleon when she takes a role. As Dianna, Swinton gives her best performance since “Michael Clayton”. Dianna is abrasive and intense, but she also believes Amy has what it takes to be the best candidate for an executive editor's position. Swinton uses that intensity to drive this character home. Swinton delivers some of the best one liners of the film as well. If she is snubbed again like last year I will be very displeased.

   “Trainwreck” is one of the funniest films I’ve seen ever. I laughed so hard I bruised a rib. I’m still in pain, but it was worth it. This film is so unique and unlike any comedy I have ever seen. Apatow and Schumer fill the screen with comedians, but they are all the straight men. All the great lines are given to Swinton or LeBron James. Trust me,  you haven’t lived until you hear LeBron ask, “Did you two make love?” It’s not just him, John Cena is hysterical, which I'm surprised to say because I hate wrestling. What is best about "Trainwreck" is there’s a small film within the film that stars a certain “Harry Potter” actor. I won't say who it is, but I will say I would pay good money to see a full version of that movie. 

   “Trainwreck” is a fantastic and heartfelt raunch fest that I pray is remembered at award season. It drives me crazy when comedies are overlooked year after year. It is more difficult to make someone laugh, then it is to make someone cry. “Trainwreck” does both, one minute you’ll be laughing hysterically. The next you’ll be tearing up because Amy Schumer just broke your heart. Do yourself a favor and see this film. This movie is so full of life and energy and is just more proof why comedies will always be needed as Oscar Dramas. It’s a must see film.

scott kurlandComment