A little over two hours — that’s how long the viewer must spend in the company of Amy Schumer as Amy in “Trainwreck,” for which she also wrote the screenplay. That’s a lot of Amy, as the “Amy, Amy, Amy!” of the Japanese title rightfully suggests. For Schumer fans, it’s a real treat. For those with less than moderate enthusiasm for the raunchy comedienne, it can get just a wee bit taxing.
Teaming up with director Judd Apatow (“40-Year Old Virgin,” “This is 40”) to squeeze in as many references to male genitalia, oral sex and body fluids in a single scene, Schumer takes sexual honesty to a height “Sex and the City’s” Carrie Bradshaw could only dream about.
On the other hand, this is the new gender equality, people. In the world of rom-com, men have had it their way for too long, treating the concept of commitment like a dermatological disease they’d rather avoid for life — until the “right” woman ambles along and makes them see “the light.”
“Trainwreck” has Schumer behaving as one of these commitment-phobic scumbags, only she can teach a course on that subject — with emphasis on the deplorable. Here are some of the high points that would be high on her syllabus: Never give a guy your number. Once the sex is over, there’s no sleeping over. If you accidentally wind up spending the night at some guy’s place, the Walk of Shame is nothing to be ashamed about. Alcohol and weed are your two best friends. Meaningful, soulful conversation always sucks.
Though quantity over quality is Amy’s maxim, she’s sort of in a relationship with Steven (John Cena, who probably has the most impressive biceps in the western hemisphere) and that’s because she deigns to let him take her to the movies. Steven, for his part, is oblivious to the fact that she’s sleeping with other men, and thinks they’re headed toward marriage.
The scene when she shatters his illusions is a little heart-wrenching. There’s real sadness in witnessing a sincere, muscle-bound gym-rat get his heart crushed and through no fault of his own really, apart from the fact that he’s not that great in bed. Amy has a twinge of guilt, shrugs but then quickly moves on.
Amy’s single-mindedness and deep-seated mistrust of relationships stems from two things: her work writing for a horrid New York men’s magazine called “S’nuff,” and her father, who divorced her mother and told her over and over that “monogamy isn’t realistic” when she was just 10. The combination of these two experiences appears to have been poisonous as far as her interaction with men is concerned — so much so that when a writing assignment has her interviewing honest-to-god nice guy Aaron (Bill Hader), she can only act freakish and off-putting, which Aaron (because he’s truly sweet) thinks is cute and funny.
Aaron is a sports medic and best friends with basketball player LeBron James who, as himself, appears at intervals to ask Amy what her intentions are and preach to her the virtues of real love. True to his style, Apatow peppers the film with other sports celebrity cameos, such as Amar’e Stoudemire, and movie stars, including Marisa Tomei, Daniel Radcliffe and a truly hilarious Matthew Broderick. Tilda Swinton is here too, though not as a cameo but as Amy’s boss, Dianna, whose flinty ruthlessness and underlying misogyny makes us think this might be where Amy is headed, 10 years down the line.
While we get that Amy is definitely on to something when it comes to relationships in the 21st century, it’s kind of regrettable that there seems to be no middle ground between serial bonking and a “Real Housewives in Suburbia” type of scenario. In the last 10 minutes, even the fearless Amy succumbs to a lovey-dovey ending like it’s the 1990s all over again.
Remember to bring crackers because this one is a big chunk of cheese.