Phony Cutting Edge, Phony Movie:
Where the hell do I even start with how much I hated this film?
I was having a rare evening at the cinema with my ex- partner, so unusually I had looked at a few reviews. Our track record on going to the cinema when we were together was nothing short of abysmal. Very different tastes, to put it mildly. Still, the word on this one was so good that I didn’t even look too wistfully at the posters for Sinister 2 and The Gift that we were passing on the way to the perfectly named ‘comedy’, Trainwreck. Even the chirpy young lady at the ticket counter raved about what a treat we were in for. Happy days!
And guess what? We did agree for a change; because we both loathed this vulgar, unfunny mess in about equal measures.
It does kick off with an amusing scene, I’ll give it that: A father (Colin Quinn) is explaining to his two little daughters why he is splitting up with their mother – and using the bizarrely effective analogy of how they would get bored if they had to play with the same doll for the rest of their lives. (“Sometimes you might want an air hostess doll. Or how about a cute little cocktail waitress doll?”)
Amy (Amy Schumer) in particular takes to heart his dictum that monogamy simply doesn’t work.
It’s all a bit like that opening scene in the hugely funny, vastly superior and hideously under-rated Shallow Hal — basically emphasizing that sometimes parents unload an awful lot of garbage ideas onto their children.
So as far as I can make out, since Trainwreck is supposedly semi-autobiographical and since she’s the film’s writer, the kid grows up to be Amy Schumer – who on the evidence of this film is (or was) – a drunken drug-taking slut.
And don’t go shaking your little feminist claws at me – if it was a bloke carrying on like this yoke, I’d be calling him a slut as well. She has endless one-night stands whilst making a pure eejit of the kind-hearted, closet-gay, musclebound Steven (a brilliant John Cena), who she keeps on the side as a fuck-buddy but who actually plans a future with her – God knows why.
And do you know what? Apart from being a drunken tart, she’s just not a very nice person.
She talks down to her settled sister Kim (Brie Larson), from the giddy heights of her sanctimonious, non-conformist (give me a break) high horse whilst basically sneering at anyone who leads a run-of-the-mill life.
I’m guessing that there’s someone out there who thinks that this is, in that increasingly irritating phrase, ‘empowering women’.
No it’s not. It’s just a woman acting like the kind of knuckleheaded man that most real men don’t even want to be around. Or is a woman acting like some macho shithead supposed to equal gender equality?
I swear they will have you believing any old nonsense.
I don’t know anything about Schumer except that she’s being spoken of as someone on the Road to Success, if she’s not already there. I saw the unfunny photo of her in the sack with the two robots from Star Wars – having a threesome, the wit! –and heard the unfunny speech about her grabbing a dick or something – and that’s about it.
She’s got this irritating chipmunk-like face that you just know she adores, because she keeps doing these ‘cute’ expressions where she looks as if she’s storing nuts away for winter. How adorable I found that, you can take a wild guess on.
What I really don’t get about this laugh-free zone of a film is that everyone seems to think that it’s cutting edge.
*Whooooo!* Look, it’s making jokes about black people; it’s poking fun at homosexuals; wow, that is a really crude and hilarious joke about a badly drenched tampon; there’s underage S &M sex (with a sixteen-year-old boy – a girl would have been taking a real risk) and lots of cunnilingus and blah blah blah…
Looks brave on paper, doesn’t it? Yet it is as safe as an episode of ‘The Cosby Show’. (Ha! I type in the first dorky sit-com that comes into my head and it turns out to be a really bad choice…all things considered. With perv and serial rapist Bill in the cast that show must have been a lot more dangerous!)
Trainwreck cleverly undermines any real anti-PC remarks every time. Look at when Colin Quinn says to the black orderly who has been a doctor in his own land: ‘Next time my head is invaded by evil demons I’ll give you a call.’
Now that’s funny! Offensive and funny! But then Amy has to immediately show you that the orderly is a really educated, wise and kind man.
Oh fuck off, Amy! If you’re going to be offensive, be offensive. This is the kind of crap that Hollywood puts out so that it can say: “Wow, look how brave we are; we’re really taking a chance with this edgy material!”
And the worst thing?
We know right from the moment that she meets the ultra-nice young Doctor Aaron Connors (Bill Hader, from last year’s equally awfull The Skeleton Twins) that Amy is going to find Redemption in his arms by giving up booze, drugs and sex with strangers.
And you most definitely know that there will be a ‘cute and loveable’ dance routine with Amy and a group of cheerleaders at some point.
Did I like anything about it? Yeah, I did. There’s a surprisingly moving eulogy from Amy after her dad’s death. In fact, her acting here is excellent. And LeBron James is just brilliant as Aaron’s friend. Apparently he is playing himself, a professional basketball player. If I’m not having my leg pulled, this guy has an equally promising career ahead in comedy.
And Tilda Swinton as Amy’s horrible English boss? Good Lord, what has she done to herself? She is incredibly fanciable and funny. Yes, that Tilda Swinton! She of the androgynous, icy looks — fanciable and funny. I never thought I’d live to see one of those, let alone two.
And that last paragraph is probably more offensive than anything you will see in Trainwreck. The only difference is that, unlike how it would be handled there, I’m not going to apologise.