Amy Townsend and her little sister Kim Townsend as little girls get told by Daddy Gordan Townsend (Colin Quinn) why he and Mommy are divorcing. Just as they’d get bored playing with just one doll all their lives, that they might like to play with other dolls, so too Daddy would and that’s why Daddy and Mommy are divorcing. He then makes them parrot “Monogamy isn’t realistic”.
Flash forward 23 years later, a now grown up Amy(Amy Schumer) has turned into this promiscuous girl getting drunk and sleeping with men of all shapes, sizes, colour and as a rule never stays the morning after. She is selfish and has mastered the trick to get what she wants with no fuss. Once when she reaches climax after a guy goes down on her she feigns sleep with loud snoring thereby skipping her turn to pleasure him. She sort of has a big moose boyfriend, a gym enthusiast Steven but that isn’t going to slow down her raging sex drive who eventually finds out about Amy’s many lovers and leaves.
The flaw here is Amy’s looks. A proverbial plain Jane for the most part, she is clothed in all sex scenes while the men are shown naked from behind which makes the sex scenes unnatural, contrived with a lot of overacting. The whole promiscuous narrative is a tad unconvincing.
Amy’s little sister Kim (Brie Larson) has turned out well who is happily married to Tom (Mike Birbiglia) and is a step mom to Allister a happy curious boy into sciences who Amy finds annoying. Gordon who is now old and ill has been put into a medical shelter and is wheel chair bound. Amy who despite her Dad’s meandering ways still adores him would like a better place for her Dad. However, Kim who’s paying for the nursing, cannot afford more. Kim feels the vibe of an outcast for being a normal happily married as Amy and Gordon appear to be in cahoots with each other.
Amy works as a writer for a men’s magazine. She is close to her co-worker Nikki (Venessa Bayer) a bespectacled geeky woman. Again, the scene where both Amy and Nikki are in toilet with panties down discussing which version of Johny Depp they’d like to fuck Pirates of the Caribbean or Edward Scissor Hands is one of the many scenes that is planted to draw out gasps and laughter. Amy and her colleagues pitch for stories in front of their sarcastic, twisted boss Dianna (Tilda Swinton). When one of her co-worker pitches for a story on sports doctor Aaron Conner(Bill Hader), Diana finds Amy’s boredom and dislike for sports people interesting and assigns the story to Amy with the promise of promotion to the Editorial role with the additional task of answering questions posed by the new Office Intern.
Forced into writing a profile on Aaron with the promise of promotion, Amy shadows him at work. Amy and Aaron eventually have sex. The scene where where Amy tries to leave in the middle of the night after having sex with Aaron but can’t is cute. Amy tells Aaron she doesn’t like to spoon and asks him to not breathe down her and tries to put some distance between them with a pillow. The next day Aaron actually calls Amy who panics and tells Nikki about it who thinks it is time to call the police.
Amy decides to tell off Aaron and drops in as he is performing a knee surgery with his favourite song Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl playing in the background. Yes the audience has to endure this corny stuff.
However, Amy and Aaron do get closer and start dating after Aaron stitches up Gordon after a fall. The scene during an NBA contest where Aaron’s friend LeBron James (playing himself) warns Amy not to hurt Aaron is one of the best scenes.
Amy and Aaron attend Kim’s baby shower where Kim’s husband Tom spills the beans to Aaron that Amy sleeps around. Amy further drops a bombshell by describing her sex tales to the guests.
Gordon passes away a few days later. The funeral speech by Amy is a tear jerker. Amy picks a fight with Kim for resenting Gordon. Aaron calms her down and says ‘I Love You’ which is not well received by Amy for the bad timing, it being a funeral.
More trouble follows when Aaron after having received a prestigious award is making a speech and Amy excuses herself to receive a phone call from Diana informing her that Aaron’s story has been cancelled for being too boring . Aaron and Amy argue over her absence during his award speech. Aaron tells Amy not to go to bed angry, in response to which she rants all night leaving Aaron who has a surgery to perform the following morning on Amar’e Stoudemire (playing himself) sleep deprived. Aaron appears at the operating table blabbering about Amy causing Amar’e Stoudemire to run out. Aaron tells Amy about the cancelled surgery and the fact that she smokes pot and has slept around makes him feel unsafe. Amy retorts saying his story is nixed for being too boring. Aaron and Amy break up.
While Aaron is depressed over the break up LeBron James calls him at night under the pretext of an injury. The scene where Aaron arrives to find LeBron James with 3 counsels Matthew Broderick, Chris Evert and Marv Albert in cameos is a delightful treat with Chris Evert not so subtly suggesting that what Aaron wants is right before his eyes while Matthew and Matt have some funny rejoinders too.
Amy rebounds back to her old ways getting stoned and drunk with her co-workers. She goes home with the Office Intern and gets in bed with him as he orders her to slap him and suck his nipples in a scene designed to look funny as his mother storms into the bedroom and declares her Office Intern son to be all of 16 to a shocked Amy.
Diana fires Amy for almost raping the 16 year old Office Intern and offers the role of the Editor to her co-worker Nikki. Amy then tries to make up with Kim for her fight on Gordon’s funeral and decides to clean up her act giving away bottles of booze. She rewrites the story about Aaron that gets published in Vanity Fair. Really! How believable! Aaron reads a copy of it and smiles.
The climax is a match featuring Amar’e Stoudemire after surgery by Aaron. A cheer leading team storms in with Amy as the main dancer as she awkwardly skips, jumps and falls intended to be cute and funny and draw out the awws as she dances to Aaron’s favourite song. Can you take a wild guess? Yeess! Uptown Girl as Aaron and Amy finally reunite.
Despite some great scenes and cameos by real celebrities and actors playing themselves, LeBron James, Amar’e Stoudemire, Broderick, Chris Evert and Marv Albert, the story does not seem real or convincing.
With the sports theme et al, the film somewhat resembles Jerry McGuire. But that’s where the similarities end!
While performances by Bill Hader who somewhat resembles Colin Firth and Amy Schumer and the supporting cast were credible, the only way to sum up Trainwreck is contrived contrived contrived. Every funny dialogue or scene seemed planted to draw out the gasps, laughs or awws for shock value and does not flow because of a casting error. Maybe Producer/Director Judd Apatow was trying to save costs by roping in the screen writer to play the leading role as well. If only the makers hadn’t tried to sell an unattractive female lead as a seductress who can have any man she wants. An average looking Amy Schumer as the promiscuous girl who beds men every other night is simply unpalatable. One can’t help thinking why men would give the time of the day to a nondescript plain looking Amy. Amy may well turn out to be the next Sandra Bullock. Hey anything’s possible in Hollywood! But please do us a favour Amy Schumer. Stick to screen writing and stand up comedy. Make us laugh but don’t let us see you on big screen.
Trainwreck does have entertaining moments. Watch it if you must but make sure you put aside your intelligence. Else, trash it.
Photo courtesy: Trainwreck theatrical release poster