Watch CBS News

"Trainwreck" Movie Review

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

"Trainwreck" (2015)

When we first meet Amy, she is sitting on the hood of a car with her sister getting a life lesson from their dad (Colin Quinn). Dad is telling the two little girls, through a series of examples with their dolls, how monogamy is bad and how natural it is to want to cheat. "You wouldn't want to play with just one doll, would you?"

We next see Amy (Amy Schumer) as an adult. She isn't afraid to sleep around with just about every good-looking guy she meets. Apparently, having one-night stands seems to be the norm for her. Her hard-and-fast rules of dating: don't learn their names, don't spend more than one date with them and don't spend the night. She does have one exception to the rule: Steven (John Cena) a nice, rather dumb jock, with the body of a Greek god. He's the only male friend that she has, and it's evident that she means more to him than she thinks.

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Amy is a writer, working for a magazine that caters to the young twenty-something males (think Maxim, but shallower). Amy is assigned by her narcissistic boss, Dianna (Tilda Swinton), to do a major article on a doctor who is the sports medicine specialist to the biggest sports stars out there. Amy, at first, declines not knowing anything about sports. Dianna insists as this article could be her fast track to a promotion, and she finally accepts the assignment.

Amy shows up to begin the interview process at Aaron's office, and she gets to meet NBA great Lebron James (she knows him as the guy on commercials). Lebron is not only one of Aaron's clients but also his best friend. Early on, Aaron (Bill Hader) figures out that Amy isn't knowable about sports, but he likes her because she is funny and quick with the banter. He invites her to dinner and both start to relax, having a few drinks (as Amy says later "ok, if you're counting, four") as the night continues. Both a little drunk they get a cab, and Aaron soon realizes that he is about to get lucky. What Amy doesn't realize is that she is about to get lucky too, with a relationship that just might change her life.

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

The standard Hollywood rom-com is where the bad boy, who can't be tied down to one woman, meets the girl that will eventually make him want to settle down. What makes "Trainwreck" so much fun is it takes the rom-com concept and turns it on its ear. It's Amy that can't be tied down, and it's Aaron who is the "one girl kind of guy" that will make her change. Judd Apatow directed the film, and it doesn't have the feeling (that so many of his films have) that he left too much in the movie. The film seems considerably shorter than its 125-minute length, moving at such a quick pace that you just might have to see this film multiple times to enjoy each jam-packed scene. In most films, Amy would be the quirky sidekick to the girl who gets the guy. Instead, Schumer, who wrote the film, is the centerpiece of the film, and she knows how to perfectly write a screenplay to fit her comedic strengths. It's a film that both men and women are going to find sidesplitting. Crude enough (without being nasty or mean) for the guys and showing us a woman's point of view in the dating world for the gals. The dialog is fast, funny, and packed with great interactions between the characters.

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

The cast stands out in this film. Colin Quinn is funny as Amy's bigoted dad, a man who has lived hard and is now paying for his sins by being stuck in a nursing home. Vanessa Bayer is hilarious as Amy's "gal pal" co-worker that smiles when she gets nervous. John Cena (yes, WWE's John Cena) perfectly plays the dull but earnest friend with benefits. Tilda plays the egomaniacal Dianna with a true comedic style, milking her part for everything she can get. Brie Larson plays Amy's sister, a married woman who lives a life opposite of Amy. The biggest surprise of the supporting cast is Lebron James. While not a great actor, he is smart enough to make fun of himself in every scene and plays off of Bill Hader so well that you believe that they are best friends. He's so good in this film; even the Lebron haters will enjoy his performance.

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Bill Hader is the consummate straight man for Schumer, able to hold his own as she spouts wisecracks right and left. He is instantly likable on screen and makes Aaron believable as a guy that has a heart of gold. There is enormous chemistry between Hader and Schumer, making their scenes work between two very different characters.

Make no mistake about it, this is Amy Schumer's move, and she shines in every scene. It would have been easy to go way over the top with her character, but Schumer seems to know when to reel it in and when to let herself go for it. Schumer has fantastic comedic timing and plays off even the inexperienced Lebron James with astounding results. Schumer makes her character just goofy enough to be someone we can root for while still laughing at her. She is extraordinary in the role, and she dominates the screen with her staggering timing.

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

"Trainwreck" is a film that delivers from start to finish, making it breathtakingly funny and touching at the same time. It's a film that has a great plot and brilliant writing. That's something you rarely see in today's movies, much less a romantic comedy.    My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again  

My movie rating system from Best to Worst: 1). I Would Pay to See it Again 2). Full Price 3). Bargain Matinee 4). Cable 5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again

"Trainwreck" is currently in theatres nationwide.

"Trainwreck" Website

For more of Mike's reviews and interviews click here

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.