Monday 24 August 2015

Trainwreck (2015) - Movie Review

Ah, gender politics; the one topic where, no matter what I say, someone out there will want to chew me out for it. While this has a lot of the traditional trappings of a rom-com, like the overly dramatic finale and the third-act break-up that irks me so, credit where it’s due to Amy Schumer because she seems determined to lacerate gender roles when it comes to these films. The way it’s done is extremely risky, as I’ve seen writers try to flip the genders in order to make a statement about said genders and have it fail quite disastrously.

Here, it feels more like this is the result of women learning how to interact with the opposite sex from growing with rom-coms where the men are supposed to be the woman-conquerors and any attempts of them trying to be genuinely kind-hearted has to have some sort of sexual/monetary motive behind it. It’s almost like a call to arms for romantic love, and I mean actual romantic love and not just 'I’m an uptight woman who needs a penis in my life' as is usually the case in these movies. The whole 'following bad media for advice' thing isn’t limited to just the women either; through the eyes of a younger and naïve intern who works with Amy, we also see how media can warp the expectations of gender roles and sexuality for guys as well, particularly teenagers. As much as statutory rape isn’t exactly the funniest thing in the world, a close pass is given for at least having it serve a bigger purpose than just embarrassment over nearly having sex with someone who is underaged.

Among the other things that this film takes that I normally can’t stand and make funny is the walking, talking gay joke that is John Cena. As I have learnt through several games of Cards Against Humanity, my morals are willing to take the back seat if something is legitimately funny enough; with that said, his sex scene with Amy is pretty damn funny. I guess it also helps that Cena’s character is one of the few that has a proper head on their shoulders when it comes to knowing how relationships between the genders work nowadays, something also rather amazingly illustrated through Amy’s connection to her father. The whole 'even arseholes turn into top blokes after death' angle is poked at and shown as being kind of true, which makes sense considering how as much we may say otherwise in polite company, there is something kind of funny in the blatantly offensive. Must be the reason why I find this film as funny as I do in the first place.

This is easily one of the most organic feeling comedies I’ve seen in a long while, with full credit to director Judd Apatow for his improv-heavy actor direction that made for some great moments, editor William Kerr for accomplishing Stylistic Suck by leaving mistakes in that made Schumer’s writing feel that much realer (also, seeing the actors corpsing on-screen was funny too) and Schumer herself for some damn good rom-com deconstruction that actually worked for the most part. Also, bonus film buff points for bringing out Matthew Broderick and Tim Meadows from Dude knows what hole for some smaller roles, and Tilda Swinton in yet another unrecognisable portrayal as Amy’s astoundingly vile boss.

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