There were no big banners or adverts heralding the arrival of Trainwreck; its release into Lagos cinemas was quiet. In fact, the website and flyers where it appeared identified it as an action film. Its presence was, however, noticed by a lover of Judd Apatow’s comedies: Anchorman, The Forty Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad, Get him to the Greeks and Bridesmaids. Said lover sat alone in the cinema hall for all of two hours, feet propped on the seats in front, wondering if one can self administer the Heimlich maneuver if popcorn got stuck in the windpipe while laughing too hard.
Trainwreck is written by Amy Schumer whose scriptwriting abilities match her talent on-screen as she creates a cast of characters and scenes that are realistic and relatable. The lines are witty, the sex scenes well thought out and the humour leans towards ‘oh no she didn’t say that,’ without being slapstick.
Trainwreck opens with Gordon (Colin Quinn) explaining that monogamy isn’t realistic to his two little daughters using an analogy of having to play with only one doll for the rest of their lives. The message sinks in for older sister Amy (Amy Schumer) who we meet 23 years later, a writer at a men’s magazine described by her boss as ‘clever and not too brainy, pretty-ish and not gorgeous, approachable’; and living by her father’s creed.
With a string of lovers on the side and a steady ‘sort-of’ boyfriend, Steven (John Cena), a lot of alcohol in her fridge and a fondness for weed, Amy is living what she believes is an exciting life, free of commitment unlike her sister Kim who is married with a stepson.
Enter successful sports doctor, Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), the subject of a new article Amy is writing – and her direct opposite – and with him, the romance of this romantic comedy. He also brings Lebron James who plays himself and doesn’t want to end up ‘like MC Hammer’ so he insists on splitting the bill at meals.
It is interesting that the NBA provides a backdrop for this movie where one of the lead characters thinks ‘sports are stupid and anyone who likes them is a slightly lesser person.’ And most of the cast play into the stereotype; Lebron James comes across as simple; his skills on the court are still amazing though as are those of Amar’e Stoudemire who makes a cameo appearance.
Trainwreck deserves a lot more attention than it’s getting, which is almost none. It takes what could potentially have been a train wreck and turns it into a comedy fest with ‘feels’ in all the right places. The Schumer-Apatow collaboration is a remarkable one, one that could still birth more chart toppers.