Single professional Amy fears commitment until she meets the perfect guy. But the harder she falls, the hotter the mess.

Year: 2015
Certificate: 15
Director: Judd Apatow
Starring: Colin Quinn, Judd Apatow, John Cena, Brie Larson, Bill Hader, Amy Schumer, Tilda Swinton, Dave Attell, LeBron James, Randall Park, Vanessa Bayer, Devin Fabry, Carla Oudin

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I’ve somehow managed to live a relatively Amy Schumer-free life up until now. I’ve picked up snippets, both good and bad, but “Trainwreck” is my first real exposure to one of the world’s biggest comedy stars. On this evidence, she’s clearly got the goods, even if she’s let down by a director-producer (Judd Apatow) leading her into the same traps that have plagued his career.

Schumer plays an exaggerated version of herself in this, her first big screen writing gig and lead role. Amy’s happily promiscuous lifestyle is t-boned by the disarmingly sweet nature of her latest journalistic subject, sports doctor Aaron (Bill Hader). Her strict “no sleeping over” policy goes out the window as they grow closer. However, as we all know, the rom-com rulebook states that it’s never as easy as that, and Amy’s fear of commitment starts to give her cold feet.

The cast here is exceptional. Schumer owns the screen with the confidence of a writer-star at the top of her game. She’s well complimented by Hader’s irresistible lovability and a who’s who of comedic talent in incidental roles (Ezra Miller, Randall Park and a glorious Tilda Swinton, to name just a few). The big surprise, however, is a pair of sports stars: wrestler John Cena and basketball player LeBron James.

Pro wrestling has produced one of the greatest movie stars of his generation in the form of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. And, as Johnson’s proved, decades of grandstanding entertainment don’t just develop your physical muscles: your comedic guns get a thorough workout too. It’s that juxtaposition of imposing physicality and a personable warmth that has sent Johnson stratospheric and Cena, as Amy’s clueless boyfriend at the start of the film, and James, playing a hysterical version of himself, display the same big screen magic.

They provide the most consistent laughs, even when Apatow dampens things with a dose of his trademark sadness in the form of Amy’s sick father. This plot thread and the two-hour plus running time (another Apatow influence) spread the (admittedly ace) gags a bit thin in the second half, but the sincerity does, for the most part, come across as genuine. There’s a tremendous 100-minute film in “Trainwreck”, but that doesn’t mean the overlong finished film isn’t still an impressive cinematic welcome for Amy Schumer.

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About Benedict

Freelance culture journalist and Film Studies graduate. Netflix is his happy place.

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