From The 40-Year-Old Virgin, to Knocked Up, to Superbad, to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Judd Apatow has worked on some of the finest bromantic comedies of the past decade. Being one of the defining comedic voices of this generation, though, Apatow knows that comedy isn’t limited to the male gender. He’s helped open the door for numerous female comedic actresses, producing projects like Bridesmaids, HBO’s Girls and now Trainwreck. In a summer that’s brought us several female-centric hits like Pitch Perfect 2 and Spy, Trainwreck just might be the best example of how women are dominating the comedy scene like never before.
Apatow directed Trainwreck, but the main credit lies in the hands of its writer and star, Amy Schumer. While she’s gained a cult following with her Comedy Central series, Schumer escalates to another level of celebrity here. She plays a woman named Amy, who is lead to believe that monogamy isn’t realistic after her parents get divorced. Although Amy maintains a steady job at a magazine, her social life is an endless tirade of booze, pot and one-night stands. After accidentally falling for Bill Hader’s Dr. Aaron Conners, however, Amy begins to question her preconceived perspective of relationships.
Trainwreck features numerous wonderful supporting performances from Colin Quinn as Amy’s intolerant father, Tilda Swinton as her insensitive boss and WWE superstar John Cena as an ex-boyfriend who’s likely harboring homosexual urges. Oh, and let’s not forget Lebron James as himself, proving to be a charismatic and hilarious screen presence. Suddenly, Space Jam 2 is sounding like an amazing idea. The film really belongs to Schumer and Hader, however, who are both so lovable and relatable in their own screwed up ways.
Their courtship essentially follows the same formula as most other romantic comedies. What’s interesting is that the roles have been reversed here. Rather than Hader being the immature pothead struggling to make a commitment, Schumer is the one who must learn how to grow up. Where so many other movies tend to restrict men and women to certain roles, Schumer understands that genders overlap much more than we assume. A man can be the levelheaded responsible one that wants more out of a relationship while a woman can fight change every step of the way.
What Schumer really understands, though, is how to make her audience laugh. She completely delivers with a hysterical script and a bold leading performance. What’s more, Schumer and Apatow have made a truly wise picture not only about romantic relationships, but the relationships between parents and children, the relationships between siblings and one’s relationship with him or herself. Trainwreck is a comedy that comprehends a fair deal about human nature, which is only made more encouraging by the fact that it’s brought to us by a very funny man and a very funny woman.