No matter how hard Trainwreck rails against gender norms and cultural stereotypes, the story seems to be inexorably drawn to the very clichés it’s trying to satirize. It’s got that organic Judd Apatow dialogue, the kind where you can tell they did so many takes of the same joke that they had trouble choosing which one to leave in – so they left a bunch of them in. Mixing it up is Amy Schumer, who assertively brings her quintessential comedy style to bear in what could only be described as a sort of amateur sexual anthropology study for the modern day.”
Seemingly by accident, it serves to draw a spotlight on modern relationships and the inability of society to grow and adapt to new conventions. Far from being a simple comedy about a reckless woman, it’s actually a touching portrayal of how desperate we all are for human connection, and how ill-equipped our modern social network is to provide it to anyone that doesn’t fit into their social box.
As the two opposites drawn together, Schumer and Bill Hader have excellent chemistry; most of their scenes play like Saturday Night Live skits between master comedians. The dialogue feels fresh, authentic and improvised, and helps maintain that edge of hyper-realistic comedy that the script is going for. LeBron James is surprisingly hilarious, and unlike most random sports star cameos, he’s really given room to stretch his comedic legs.
Schumer spends the second half of the movie denouncing her former self and the indoctrination of her father in order to create a new, more fulfilling relationship, only to discover that commitment comes with its own set of difficulties and that maybe she needs more than just a healthy sex life. She’s not afraid to delve into some uncomfortable realities and really tease out the relationship experience – but they keep the comedy dense, so even when things take a turn for the bleak/realistic, the jokes are never far away.
Unfortunately, for a movie that does everything it can to buck the typecasting and homogeny of romantic comedies, Trainwreck can’t seem to help but wrap itself up in much the same way any decent romcom would. That’s not necessarily a criticism because, as a story, it still feels innovative and original. It’s just a shame a movie that did so much to highlight the inconsistencies inherent in modern relationships couldn’t find a solution more novel than just going with the flow.