Susan Granger’s review of “Trainwreck” (Universal Pictures)
Confession: I had never seen Amy Schumer on Comedy Central, so her earthy brand of brash humor was, at first, a bit unnerving. Her culturally relevant, confessional comedy has no limits: nothing is too intimate or inappropriate for her to say – or write – in this raunchy, role-reversal rom-com.
Her story begins with a flashback, as their philandering father (Colin Quinn) informs young Amy Townsend and her little sister why he and their mother are divorcing, having them repeat: “Monogamy isn’t realistic.”
Flash-forward 23 years. Hard-drinking, commitment-phobic Amy is a magazine features writer and serial slut, seducing whom she wants when she wants, but never spending the night. Her man-of-the-moment is WWE’s muscleman John Cena, who stuns her when he wants to get serious.
Then her saucy, shallow “S’Nuff” editor (Tilda Swinton) assigns sports-loathing Amy to interview Dr. Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), a successful Manhattan orthopedist whose patients include America’s top athletes, like his sensitive-but-strangely stingy best-buddy, NBA superstar LeBron James.
Obviously charmed by her indecisive, yet uninhibited candor, sweetly geeky Conners invites her to dinner. That leads to drinks – and soon Amy is back at his condo, climbing on top of him. But there are plenty of spiky speed bumps on this road to romance.
Collaborating with director Judd Apatow (“40 Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up”), it’s Schumer’s show. Episodic and overly long, much of it works.
According to interviews, Amy’s vulnerable character seems to parallel her own life – including a married sister named Kim (Brie Larson) and an angry, outspoken father suffering from multiple sclerosis.
“When I was writing this script, I realized that I had a really hard time letting somebody love me and felt like I didn’t deserve it,” she says. “And now I totally do. I think I’m a woman to love.”
Once empowered, Amy Schumer is a revelation, and it’s not surprising that she’ll be the stand-up opening act of Madonna’s new show in September.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Trainwreck” is a sneaky, subversive 7, slyly delivering love- spiced laughter.