Written by Yosra Osman

Arts

Can Schumer stay Schumer in Hollywood?

Trainwreck has a reversal of the male/female roles and was written by and stars the audacious standup. Will it be enough to convince rom-com sceptic Yosra Osman?

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If you’ve ever seen Amy Schumer’s stand-up, you’ll know she is a fiercely funny woman. Her comedy is bold, if often outrageous, and delightfully feminist. She’s a refreshing tour-de-force, gleefully scornful of the media and its representation of women.

Schumer is the star, and writer, of new romantic comedy Trainwreck. Rom-coms often fill me with trepidation, mostly because they normally get the romance right, but the comedy is a let-down. I went into the cinema thinking eye-roll rom-coms need Amy Schumer, praying that she would turn against the tide in brutal, hilarious fashion.

“Joy of joys, we’re being allowed to see a woman having casual sex on screen without being scorned for it, like it’s the 21st century or something!”

Trainwreck’s plot brings a lot of promise. Schumer plays Amy (helpfully), a thirtysomething journalist who likes to drink a lot of alcohol, smoke the odd bit of weed and sleep with whoever she pleases. At the beginning of the film she’s told that ‘monogamy isn’t realistic’ by her father, so 20-odd years later she’s a promiscuous commitment-phobe, reluctant to sleep over at any guy’s house, let alone have a long-term relationship.

Joy of joys, we’re being allowed to see a woman having casual sex on screen without being scorned for it, like it’s the 21st century or something!

Amy then, however, meets Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), a sports physiotherapist who she’s sent to interview, despite hating sports. The two begin dating and things start to get serious. Will she change her carefree lifestyle and settle down?

It would be cruel of me to spoil the ending, but despite the male-female role-reversal, the plot is unfortunately a little cliché. Trainwreck could be shaved by at least 20 minutes, which might have helped it follow a more structured narrative. I also wish the traditional redemption of our female protagonist wasn’t so redemptive, especially when it was so great to see a film proudly flaunting that women have the right to be as sexually free as men.

The film is also directed by Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, This is 40), which means that it’s funny, but there’s a little too much of the Apatow-style improvisation scenes – you know, those that dwell on the ‘ha-ha we’re so funny’ just a little bit more than necessary.

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Despite this, Amy Schumer is the talent that saves the film from its loose structure and more formulaic rom-com moments. There are some really funny lines, and some laugh-out-loud scenes from both Schumer and the rest of the well-chosen cast.  With bizarrely brilliant cameos from Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei, and a surprisingly comedic turn from Basketball player LeBron James, you won’t find yourself short of laughter. There’s also Tilda Swinton who’s somehow unrecognisable playing a callous, completely made-up glamorous magazine editor. Trust me, I didn’t realise it was her until a day after I saw the film.

Trainwreck proves that Amy Schumer can hold her own in Hollywood. She is audacious, foul-mouthed and hilarious. Part of me wishes the film pushed itself just that little more to the bold levels of her standup, but I’ll take Trainwreck over most rom-coms any day.

@yozzie_osman

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Written by Yosra Osman

Yosra Osman is a mid-twenties film fan and self-confessed daydreamer of dangerous proportions