Trainwreck – 4 stars
After the gruesome This is 40, it’s good to see Judd Apatow back. He owes it to Amy Schumer’s crackling script and impressive breadth, as well as an unexpected Bill Hader as a rom-com lead and fantastic support, especially cameos by non-actors LeBron James and John Cena. Schumer is a loose narcissist who shuns intimacy when she is given the assignment to write a magazine piece on Hader, surgeon to sports stars. They click and he weans her off her casual cruelty, but, of course, she relapses and then . . .
Schumer is very funny, as evidenced by her Comedy Central sketch show, where she melds winning and loathsome, no small feat (Lena Dunham has mastered the same trick). Schumer digs a little deeper here, showing some real depth in a few scenes of despair, so you’re rooting for her, a critical element for a rom-com. As noted, she’s well-supported, and James is particularly memorable as himself, although I don’t know if he is notoriously cheap, into Downton Abbey, or so relentlessly competitive that he wouldn’t let up on the likes of Hader in a game of one-on-one.
There are some problems. The film is too damn long at two hours, and the scenes that could be cut (an unfunny intervention, a scene where Schumer condescends to two stock, unhip suburbanites who don’t stand a chance, an overlong wacky seduction, one scene too many of an otherwise hilarious and barely recognizable Tilda Swinton as Schumer’s boss) are obvious.
Still, what’s funny is very funny and the picture sticks the landing.