So far this year, we've seen several female-led comedies - from Spy to Pitch Perfect 2 and the recent Hot Pursuit. Well, the latest to join the list is the Judd Apatow directed and Amy Schumer starring Trainwreck.

Apatow has had, largely, a good track record with his comedies over his career, with hilarious films such as 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, This Is 40 and more. With the romance-comedy genre having felt a little dry of late, if there's one man that can breath new life and energy into it, it's Apatow and that's exactly what he does with his latest project, Trainwreck. It follows your conventional rom-com story formula and has the majority of the clichés often associated with these films but it's a refreshing film nevertheless. However, it does boast some ingenuity in that it mixes things up a little and portrays men as the sensitive ones and women as the reckless trainwrecks in question for once.

Right from the opening sequence, this film has the audience laughing. The scene involves two little girls and their father consulting them on the divorce between him and his wife, using dolls as an example to explain how lust for other people can lead to two people who love each other detracting from one other. It's beautifully shot, funny and sets up the rest of the film with such ease and joy. What follows is a competent affair of two halves; the raunchy, rude comedy and the sweet, tepid love story. We skip ahead a couple of decades to find one of the aforementioned little girls, our protagonist Amy (Amy Schumer), the titular "trainwreck", living a pretty cosy lifestyle - she has a good, secure job, a nice family and a pretty decent sex life. However, her worst fears are realised when her avoidance of commitment and free-loading ideals are tarnished when she meets, and falls for (duh!), sports doctor Aaron (Bill Hader).

The premise to this film isn't exactly groundbreaking and is, instead, pretty typical for a rom-com - sticking to tried-and-tested methods. However, that's not to say there's no fun to be had here. Despite a lack of originality, Trainwreck still proves to be a competent flick. It may follow the formula but it does it well. The outline of the story is predictable in that you have your character living solo, the boy meets the girl and, whilst it may not be love at first sight, the two fall for each other but there's something that hinders their relationship before its restored again. We've seen it many times before but the comedy and acting and direction is so good and the premise is executed so well that it still manages to keep the audience entertained.
Where this film excels is in delivering laughs. This is one rude and crude comedy and the large majority, with a few exceptions, of the jokes hit. There's never any gut-bustingly hilarious scenes but the flow of the chuckles and the comedy is a lot more consistent and there are lots of laugh-out-loud moments throughout the 125 minute runtime. A scene involving John Cena in a cinema is a particular highlight, as is a recurring gag about a fake film involving a certain cameo which I won't spoil for you. The point is, this film is funny and chock full of lots of comedic value. However, unfortunately, when we come to the romance and the drama and the emotional core of this story, quite similar praise cannot be given.

The romance aspect of Trainwreck is competent, but, ultimately, a bit bland. It's not too difficult to buy into Amy and Aaron's love for one another due to the veritable chemistry between Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. However, it's just a predictable and awfully tedious romance to watch and we'd rather get back to the comedy or the awkward, funny sex where this film delivers buckets of enjoyment. It's your clichéd love story and nothing unique or interesting ever really happens that we haven't already seen a thousand times before. It's not a help that the emotion falls flat too. I can believe and enjoy Schumer as a reckless, sex-crazed drunk but the quieter moments feel a little forced and the empathy never always sells. However, that's not to say there aren't some touching, heartfelt moments. Her relationship with her sister Kim (Brie Larson) is sweet and beautiful, as it is with her father (Colin Quinn) and a funeral scene will really tug on the heart strings but, in contrast, a break-up scenario involving Cena and Schumer or an argument between the latter and Hader never emotionally sell and attempted jokes there fell a bit crammed in.

Where the emotion does hit though, it's always down to the chemistry between the actors. Amy Schumer proves quite a talent here, not only hilarious and charismatic in our lead role but getting even more brownie points considering she penned the script for the film - a wise, funny screenplay. Brie Larson is another highlight and her sisterly relationship with Schumer is sweet and believable and adds a nice arc and dynamic to both their characters. Bill Hader also excels, as Amy's love interest. He's believable as a sports doctor and is hilarious too. We also have some nice performances from supporting cast members Tilda Swinton; a particularly whimsical Ezra Miller in a gem of a funny sex scene; John Cena brings lots of laughs too as does LeBron James. It's a cast on their A game but it's the chemistry between them that makes this film as good as it is and makes the comedy hit as hard as it does and the emotional sell as it does. It's just ashame that the two didn't quite balance with each other and that the tones got a little muddied and conflicting at times.

VERDICT:
Funny and touching, Trainwreck boasts enough crude comedy and affable heart and romance to make for a fun, competent - if never memorable or very balanced - affair.
★★★☆☆

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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