“Monogamy isn’t realistic.” In Judd Apatow’s “Trainwreck,” the protagonist Amy (Amy Schumer) lives by this motto ever since her father repeated it to her and her sister (Brie Larson) when they were young girls. She has casual sex but never spends the night. She dates but never exclusively, much to the dismay of her boyfriend Steven (John Cena). His dreams of having Amy as his “crossfit queen” are shattered once he snoops on her cell phone only to receive a text message of another man’s genitalia, and he ends the relationship. Amy indifferently continues her single life. By day, she writes for a men’s magazine in New York City, “S’Nuff,” which caters to the lowest common denominator of men.  By night, she drinks excessively, smokes weed, and has sex with strangers. Amy often teases her younger sister, Kim, because she doesn’t understand why Kim chose having a family and a quiet life in the suburbs over being single.

That is, until she meets the subject of her newest article for S’Nuff, Aaron Conners (Bill Hader)—a sports surgeon who treats celebrity athletes. Amy is confronted with a conflict that is familiar in romantic comedies: Will the commitment-phobic casual dater end up with her monogamous-minded love interest, or will she return to her old ways? Though the plotline is hackneyed, Schumer’s and Hader’s reversed gender roles give leeway to Schumer’s characteristically satirical and neo-feminist comedy gold. Unlike typical female protagonists in romantic comedies, Amy is unapologetically sexual, making her a more realistic and relatable character.

“Trainwreck” is the only full-length feature film Apatow has directed but not written. This will be a pleasant surprise for fans of Schumer who can recognize her style from her stand-up or her show on Comedy Central, “Inside Amy Schumer.” Although Schumer seems to be playing herself in the movie, her emotionally vulnerable scenes were convincing. And her chemistry with Hader was natural and believable. The standout actors were John Cena and LeBron James, who plays Aaron’s best friend. The timing and execution of their lines were among the most memorable parts of the movie.

Like many recent Judd Apatow movies, the pace slows and certain scenes drag, particularly before and after the story takes a more dramatic turn in hopes to make the transition less abrupt. For a romantic comedy, the movie handled the more emotional scenes well, while approaching the cheesier romantic aspects in a cleverly self-aware and funny manner. Though the movie doesn’t subvert its own genre the way it intended, fans of the classic rom-com won’t be disappointed.

Kim is a member of the class of 2017.



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