Amy Schumer’s star vehicle is disappointingly shallow but not without a few laughs.



Amy Schumer and Bill Hader


Amy Townsend isn’t exactly a trainwreck, but she’s not good news. She’s coarse, a drunk, frequently tardy and has the romantic morals of a goat. “I’m just a sexual girl,” she reasons, but she’s more like a man. She climaxes fast and afterwards falls asleep instantly – and snores. She cheats on her boyfriend, drinks her male friends under the table and is uncomfortable in the presence of children.


Trainwreck heralds the screenwriting and starring debut of the stand-up comedian Amy Schumer and her film starts off as if it’s going somewhere. But Trainwreck is also directed by Judd Apatow, so we know it’s going to be tasteless, often quite funny and will probably outstay its welcome. The film is certainly over-long – 124 minutes long – and falls foul of the usual Apatow failings. Amy Townsend is self-serving, hedonistic and really not that interesting as a character, just a plain and ‘ordinary’ New Yorker – she is neither Cameron Diaz nor Melissa McCarthy – but had she been more credible as a human being, this might have made a searing black comedy. It is, though, a series of skits, with a love story tacked on to drag the whole thing out to its inevitable conclusion.


There are good things: Tilda Swinton steals the film as an arch, working-class (and strangely attractive) magazine editor (she abruptly terminates a conversation with the rebuff: “Thank you. You inspire me”); the basketball superstar LeBron James, playing himself, is hysterical (he insists on dividing a luncheon bill with his agent); and there are a slew of good lines (Ezra Miller, on his English boss: “Does she have a foreign accent or is she just awesome?”). And then it all gets rather mundane. Disappointingly, Trainwreck neither registers as a meaningful human comedy nor as a rib-clutching laugh-fest. It would, though, make a terrific half-hour sitcom – and an even better trailer.




Cast: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, John Cena, Vanessa Bayer, Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, LeBron James, Randall Park, Norman Lloyd, Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei, Matthew Broderick, Chris Evert, Tim Meadows.


Dir Judd Apatow, Pro Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel, Screenplay Amy Schumer, Ph Jody Lee Lipes, Pro Des Kevin Thompson, Ed William Kerr and Paul Zucker, Music Jon Brion, Costumes Leesa Evans.


Apatow Productions-Universal Pictures.

124 mins. USA. 2015. Rel: 14 August 2015. Cert. 15.