SXSW Review: Trainwreck

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The Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck that played at SXSW is considered a work in progress, so there is still time to make changes. However, if they leave this version alone, they have a winner. 

Amy (Schumer) is a hard drinking, pot smoking, promiscuous woman. Assigned to do a magazine profile on sports doctor Aaron Connors (Bill Hader), she ends up in a solid relationship with him, and that terrifies her. Meanwhile, Amy's sister (Brie Larson) is happily married and pregnant, while their father (Colin Quinn) isn't doing so great in the nursing home.

Trainwreck is typical Judd Apatow fare in its many story threads. We'll call it multi-dimensional because it creates a believable world in which the characters live. Believable except that the magazine Amy works for is a total spoof of sleazy media tear down rags, but everything else is realistic. 

Despite the salacious title and outrageous poster, Trainwreck is a low concept rom-com. It's just life and dating and that's really funny enough. It's actually the perfect romantic comedy because instead of creating artificial conflicts, it gets right to the humor of a normal couple just trying to figure each other out. 

The only contrived rom-com situation is how a journalist would fall in love with her subject. We've seen it a lot recently, most notably in Top Five and Fifty Shades of Grey, and it's kind of ridiculous. After that though, it's really about Amy and Aaron communicating, and it feels quite refreshing to see the petty conflicts of most bickering rom-coms handled with mature discussions. 

Amy Schumer is the total package. She's hilarious and you're going to miss a lot of jokes because you're still laughing at the one before it. She's likable even at her character's most irresponsible behavior. She's also really touching in dramatic scenes that don't feel at all out of place sandwiched between two raunchy scenes.

Hader is able to do it all too, as he's proven before. A celebrity athlete actually plays a major character in the movie. It's more than a cameo, and he's really good, but I still won't spoil it. At the standard Apatow length of over two hours, Trainwreck never feels long because every scene is on point. Get on board the train this summer! 

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