My husband and I saw Amy Schumer's new (well, not so new any more) movie Trainwreck last weekend, and we found ourselves
- It's funny. We enjoyed watching it and laughed a good bit throughout the film. The "wait, that's so annoying that such-and-such happened" mostly came to mind after we finished viewing.
- It's sweet. There are plenty of endearing "aww" moments where you can squeeze your sweetie's hand and feel sentimental.
- LeBron James. SO funny. Playing himself as adorably chivalrous and comically cheap at the same time, I can see why critics called him Judd Apatow's "secret weapon" for the film.
- Tilda Swinton. I thought it was hilarious to see her in such an unlikely role.... I associate her with characters androgynous and wicked, like secretly evil angel Gabriel in John Constantine and the White Witch in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I know she has been in a ton of other movies, but those are the two that come to mind when I see her. Having her play a sardonically feminine and garishly made-up magazine executive was an entertaining shift.
Trainwreck Cons (Spoiler Alert!!):
- Suicide is treated as inevitable. Amy is basically warned that her father is contemplating suicide.... and her character looks back at the person warning her, blinks a little, and doesn't say or do a thing in response. Later, after her father DOES kill himself, there is no reference to the fact that she could have done something to prevent it. Um, if nothing else, she would have felt guilty or conflicted or something.
- Death forgives all sins. Amy's above-mentioned father is a total a@@##le. He cheats on her mother (with all of her female teachers, we are informed), tries to teach his impressionable young daughters that all relationships are doomed from the outset, and is rude and nasty and offensive to everyone he comes in contact with. Yet all the sudden at his funeral, Amy claims that he always made her feel loved (yea no, never saw that once) and forces everyone present to raise their hands, agreeing that he was "one of their favorite people" despite the fact that he treated them poorly. This, honestly, is a sentimental cop-out. All we ever saw from this character was borderline abusive behavior, and an elegy full of lies doesn't make that okay.
- Trust is gained via a cheerleading routine. Aaron eventually tells Amy that he "doesn't feel safe" in their relationship because of the number of guys she slept with before him. Instead of addressing that and working through it as a couple, they take a relational break... during which she tries to sleep with someone else. She doesn't succeed, but not because she decides she would rather be faithful to Aaron, but rather because her chosen suitor turns out to be 16 and his mother walks in. (Seriously??) Afterwards she gets back together with Aaron, not by honestly addressing his concerns and reestablishing trust, but by donning a cheerleader uniform and doing a dance routine. *rolls eyes*
- Married couples are bizarre. The only married couple we meet in the movie, Amy's sister Kim and her husband, are totally odd. Well, Kim is sweet and fairly normal, but her husband is quite strange... he and his son from another marriage are constantly with Kim, dressing in matching clothing and speaking in stilted, awkward sentences. Being married clearly means you must be weird... like, alien from another planet weird.
- Most of the funniest scenes are in the preview. Exceptions being the scene where Amy names the fictional teams she roots for ("the Orlando.... Blooms...."), the restaurant scene where the doctor calls for the check, and pretty much every scene with LeBron. **oops, no, just rewatched the preview and the Orlando Blooms joke is in there too. Oh well...
If you love Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow, or LeBron James, I would say go ahead and see this movie -- its funny, and it means well. Just don't hope for a logical story line, or any kind of mature reflection on life and relationships. But hey, this is a "rom-com" after all, so maybe it was overly idealistic of me to hope for that in the first place? *sigh* And yes, I pretty much mull like this over every movie I see; it is something of a curse.
Can you think of any rom-coms that DO manage to reflect on life and relationships without being cheesy? I feel like 13 Going on 30 does a pretty good job... any others? I kind of want to prove to myself that it can be done now, so let me know your recommendations in the comments!