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Trainwreck - DVD Review


Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

NOT many relationship comedies dare to be as daring as Trainwreck, a rom-com for the Girls generation that makes a new superstar out of its star and creator Amy Schumer.

Directed by Judd Apatow, who has already delivered piercingly funny relationship comedies such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and This Is 40, the film very much unfolds from a female perspective but is funny enough to be enjoyed by both sexes.

Schumer, who also wrote the script, plays Amy, the trainwreck of the film’s title. She’s promiscuous, stuck writing tacky stories for a muck-raking monthly magazine named Snuff and terrified of the type of relationship her sister (Brie Larson) has created for herself.

But when she meets A-grade sports doctor Aaron (Bill Hader) things change. Amy suddenly finds herself staring at a relationship of her own and forced to re-evaluate the values she has previously held so dear. Cue the trainwreck…

The ensuing comedy manages to combine crude and yet knowing humour (usually of the sexual variety) with astute observations on the nature of modern relationships that can occasionally be quite touching.

Schumer, meanwhile, is a revelation: her Amy emerging as a volatile force of nature seemingly only ever one step away from self destruct, who nevertheless commands our sympathy and support.

It’s refreshing to find a female character who is so spunky: forthright, bold and disarmingly funny, yet not averse to showcasing a tender, even flawed, side. She’s even sometimes difficult to like given her ability to be horrible to those around her. But then that’s kind of the point. If this was awards season, Schumer would be in line for some love (and still might). She’s undoubtedly a huge new movie star in the making.

Apatow deserves credit, too, for deftly combining some of his trademarks (knowing pop culture humour, time enough to invest in most characters and some starry cameos) without detracting from Schumer’s voice.

As a result, there are also a number of other performances to savour, not least from Hader as the charming (and equally damaged) doc, Tilda Swinton (hysterically OTT as Amy’s editor) and Larson (as her long-suffering sister who can still give as good as she gets).

Not everything works. The occasional joke misfires or feels over-worked, while the lengthy running time feels every bit as indulgent as so many of Apatow’s productions.

But come the unashamedly feel-good and superbly realised finale, you’ll be in too good a mood to be too critical. Trainwreck is, at the end of the day, riotously good fun that looks set to lay down some benchmarks for future comedies of its nature.

Certificate: 18
Running time: 122 mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: December 7, 2015