Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of Amy Schumer breaking out with Trainwreck is her lack of previous film roles. The likes of Zach Galifianakis, Melissa McCarthy and Will Ferrell spent years as character actors doing supporting roles in comedies, whereas Schumers largest film roles prior to Trainwreck were an uncredited role in Sleepwalk With Me and a part in Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World.
But her ascension to stardom is no accident; both her acting and writing on the motion picture Trainwreck indicate a notable new comedic talent has arrived. For her debut lead role, Amy Schumer plays the character Amy, a woman whose got commitment issues stemming from her parents divorce. When she meets Aaron (Bill Hader), her entire view of life is thrown out of whack, especially her view of how romance is supposed to work.
Amy is the conventional R-rated comedy protagonist archetype of the “schmuck who has room to grow”. What I liked about how they handled this particular character is they avoid the typical places women are supposed to want to grow in these sort of movies; Amy has no desire for a family and instead of playing that up like it’s a bad thing, the film takes a more nuanced approach to the matter. Having a family is not inherently a poor idea, but it’s not one that it forces on Amy or has her uncharacteristically declare to be her lifelong dream in the movies climax.
It also makes sure Amy comes across as likable enough in early portions of the feature while simultaneously demonstrating areas where Amy could stand to grow as a character. It helps that unlike later day Adam Sandler and Seth MacFarlane in human form, Schumer has a naturally likable presence that work as a another major reason why the lead of Trainwreck is such a compelling creation.
I’ve always felt casting is a tremendous reason why any film succeeds or fails and I’m reminded of why that part of the filmmaking process is so damn critical after seeing Trainwreck thanks to a supporting cast that’s a perfect assemblage of comedic talent. What’s interesting is that, while many like Vanessa Bayer (who I hope to see more in movies in the future, she’s awesome!) have experience in comedy, others like John Cena, LeBron James, Ezra Miller and Tilda Swinton are relatively new to the process of dropping jokes on a frequent basis. You wouldn’t know that by the top-notch work they and numerous other actors (including Daniel Radcliffe in a recurring cameo) put in into the film, with Swinton alone as a demanding and vulgar boss generating huge laughs from me.
And then there’s Bill Hader, who follows up his excellent underrated turn in last years The Skeleton Twins with a role here as the straight man to Amys antics. He provides the perfect balance to the more heightened personality of his girlfriend, and him and Schumer also have a charming rapport that the film smartly utilizes to create moments of genuine tenderness. I appreciate that Trainwreck knows when to lay on the laughs, but also knows when to just let the romantic sweetness take the reins of the story. Smart move, smart move, and it’s one of many to be found within Trainwreck. If this Judd Apatow directed endeavor is any indication, Amy Schumer is gonna have many many many many film roles to come and I absolutely can’t wait to see how they turn out.