Back to IndieWire

Judd-ging Amy: The Slut-Shaming, Heteronormative Morality of ‘Trainwreck’

Judd-ging Amy: The Slut-Shaming, Heteronormative Morality of 'Trainwreck'

Let’s make this very clear: I love Amy Schumer, and want nothing more than for her to succeed. I know her stand up special "Mostly Sex Stuff" by heart, have seen every episode of her TV series and have spent countless hours on YouTube watching pretty much anything with her name in the title. Over the years, I have introduced her to people with an embarrassing level of enthusiasm whenever someone somehow still hadn’t heard of her, immediately queuing up the five YouTube videos I knew would bring them into the light. 

For me, Amy Schumer has felt like this icon for people who — for whatever reason — have not found themselves representing societal norms by their thirties. And more over, someone who can call bullshit on the people who think they have. There’s this one amazing bit in "Mostly Sex Stuff" where Schumer describes going to a wedding shower for a largely estranged friend who has moved to Connecticut and got a whole new group of "married" friends. And it’s fucking amazing, even just when it’s transcribed: 

So I’m at this party, and I’m mainlining Chardonnay, trying to remember fun. Then, one of the girls was like, ”Let’s play a game!“ and I’m like, "Suicide pact? Okay! I’ll go first! This party’s the worst.” And she goes, “No, let’s all go around and admit something!” and I’m like, “Oh, no.”

So these girls are all going around, and the shit they’re admitting is so boring. Like this one girl was like, “Once, I forgot to let the dog out all day!” and they were all like, “Noooooooo!!!!” Then the girl who goes right before me, Bridgette, who is the worst human being I’ve ever met, she spoke the softest, like you had to lean in and squint and read her lips. Bridgette talked like an angel was sleeping on her tongue. So anyway, she was like, “Alright you guys, it’s my turn, bring it in” and I’m like, “We’re in, we have to be, because you talk like Fievel. Use your diaphragm, Bridg.” So she’s like, “I’ll admit this. Sometimes, after Richard falls asleep, I get up and eat ice cream.”

I just wanted to find one other pair of eyes being like, “What a dumb cunt” right? But nothing, no one, they’re all looking at her like, “Bridgette, you should be asleep! It’s night, carbs? C’mon!” So then it’s my turn, and I don’t look at my friend Katie, but I can feel her glaring at me, as if to say, “Don’t be yourself right now, bitch! This is my new life!" 

So I’m like, "First of all, Bridgette, thank you for being so brave. I’ll admit this, it’s kind of like your ice cream thing. This one time, I let a cab driver… finger me.” And my friend Katie is like, “THAT’S NOT HOW YOU PLAY, AMY!!” and I’m like, “Really? Because I feel like I won.”

The feeling I have whenever I hear that bit is basically what I expected to feel coming out of "Trainwreck," the film Schumer wrote and stars in that opened to mainly rave reviews and big box office this past weekend — a little empowered, a little less alone, and a lot in awe of a voice of such spot-on comedic brilliance commenting so precisely on what I seem to feel in too many situations. And that was pretty much the same expectation of the seven other people I saw it with last Thursday night. 

All of us more or less single and in our late twenties and early thirties, we treated the screening like I imagine various demographics might approach "Star Wars" or "The Dark Knight."  We bought tickets weeks in advance and planned a whole night around it. This was our event film, after all. And instead of bring lightsabers or dressing up like The Joker, we would theme it like a story from Schumer’s standup. Sneak in cheap white wine, try and out-do one another with dirty jokes during the previews, and then go out to a divey gay bar afterwards with the intention of waking up somewhere weird. An exaggerated version of ourselves, for the most part. But we were assuming "Trainwreck" would largely involve an exaggerated version of Schumer’s slutty, boozey public persona we had all fallen in love with. And we were more than willing to let the film bring out our own versions of that — with pride.

But instead…

"Um, I feel like Judd Apatow just seriously slut-shamed us and brought Amy Schumer along for the ride," my friend said as we walked out of the theater, furious. "What the fuck was that movie trying to say!?" My thoughts pretty much exactly. 

"Trainwreck" is an astonishingly judgemental movie, and not in the fun way you’d think it would be. It seems to throw the very people Schumer has been vouching for all these years under the bus with an essential moral that excess behavior will only lead to unhappiness and that we best assimilate into societal norms even if it doesn’t feel natural.  Why would Amy Schumer — our Amy Schumer — want to express such a notion?

Schumer’s recent rise to a whole new level of fame has personally been met almost exclusively with joy. It felt like someone was finally getting the recognition and fame they deserved — and that it was somehow happening on her own terms, with seemingly limited compromise. Look at third season of "Inside Amy Schumer." Airing in the midst of said fame-rise, it upped the ante in pretty much every respect and maintained — even strengthened — Schumer’s voice. I presumed "Trainwreck" would push that even further, and my anticipation and expectations were admittedly both epic as a result. But after seeing a second time alone the next night, I am pretty confident in my own disdain for its ethics — even though I would still like to believe Amy Schumer herself doesn’t share them.

Basically, "Trainwreck" feels like two different movies — one Schumer’s and one director Judd Apatow’s — competing against one another. The Schumer part is by far the better movie. Making up most of the first half, it’s essentially a cinematic version of Schumer’s stand up or TV series. A journalist at a men’s magazine (where Tilda Swinton — absolutely the best thing about the movie — plays her boss), Schumer’s character often has three too many, wakes up in strange places and is at odds with the people in her life that seem to actually have it together. This makes for many hysterical, fully realized scenes, including one that adapts the aforementioned wedding shower bit from Schumer’s standup. Except there’s a few differences. For one, it’s now a baby shower and instead of letting a cab driver finger her, Amy’s "secret" is that she got a condom got stuck to her cervix and she had to use her finger to fish it out. Fair enough. But the other, much more problematic difference is that it seems Amy doesn’t quite feel like she’s won the game this time. She even feels the need to call up the person whose baby shower it was and apologize.

I’m not so delusional that I would expect Universal to pony up money for a summer movie where a lead character carries on in the typical Schumer spirit for two hours without consequence or conflict. I already knew from the trailer that this was very much going to be a rom com between Schumer and Bill Hader’s sports doctor character. But it’s that part of the movie — the one with Judd Apatow written all over it — that makes "Trainwreck" so questionable in its intent (and makes up most of its second half). 

Awkwardly dramatic and morally conservative even by Apatow’s regular standards, this half finds Amy trying to navigate a relationship with Hader’s Aaron amidst family drama involving her dying father Gordon (Colin Quinn) and pregnant, married sister Kim (Brie Larson). Basically, the whole film’s set up is a flashback involving alcoholic, promiscuous Gordon telling young Amy and Kim that he and their mother are getting divorced because "monogamy isn’t realistic." Cut to present-day, with Amy now adopting her father’s behavior and Kim doing the opposite with a husband and kids. When Bill Hader’s Aaron rolls around, Amy has a major opportunity to follow her sister’s lead with a stable relationship — but she’s worried she’s gonna screw it up. When she confesses this to her sister, Kim simply tells Amy she is "just finally doing what everyone else does."

By the film’s third act, Amy has predictably screwed up her relationships with both Kim and Aaron. With Kim it’s via an argument after their father’s funeral where Amy suggests Kim never even liked their father (which is obviously underlined with Amy’s resentment toward Kim’s judgement of her own lifestyle). With Aaron, it comes when he brings Amy to a luncheon where he’s receiving a prestigious award. Out of her element (and in a dress that Aaron subtly and questionably criticizes for being inappropriate even though it’s certainly not by my standards), Amy drinks too much and then has to leave the table during Aaron’s speech to take (a genuinely important) work call. When Aaron eventually finds her smoking pot outside the luncheon, he begins to finally call her out on her behavior, admitting that he is indeed bothered by how many men she’s slept with despite suggesting otherwise previously.

In a sense, it’s a very similar plot trajectory to "Bridesmaids," which just so happens to also be a Judd Apatow-affiliated summer studio movie that worked as a mainstream breakout for the female comedienne who both co-wrote and starred in it (Kristen Wiig). Except Apatow didn’t co-write or direct "Bridesmaids," and the difference shows. Wiig’s character Annie, like Schumer’s Amy, is a thirtysomething mess whose behavior — largely enabled by Rose Byrne’s secretly-jealous-of-her Helen — sabotages her relationships with Maya Rudolph’s best friend Lillian and Chris O’Dowd’s love interest Nathan.  In the end, she ends up winning them both back. This is more or less the same conclusion that meets "Trainwreck," but the journeys Amy and Annie respectively take to get there are very different.

In "Bridesmaids," Lillian and Nathan end up accepting Annie for who she was all along. It was Annie that couldn’t accept herself, and when she finally does — in part through a pep-talk from Melissa McCarthy’s Megan — she apologizes and her relationships are mended. They don’t force her to change. Annie had to do that herself.

But in "Trainwreck," Amy’s change comes through what she thinks Kim and Aaron — and society — expect from her.  Amy eventually apologizes to Kim by telling her maybe she was just jealous of her, and Kim tells her maybe it’s time to change.  This leads into a cringe-worthy montage of Amy throwing out all the booze in her apartment, just before making a grand gesture to win back Aaron by surprising him at Madison Square Garden. Dressed like a hyper-feminized cheerleader and performing a dance to Billy Joel’s "Uptown Girls" with the Knicks City girls, she finally tells him she loves him, and they kiss — which is shown, yes, on the jumbotron. Read that last sentence again, will you?

So let’s go back to my friend’s question: "What the fuck was that movie trying to say!?" It seems to me the answer is basically: Find a way to be like everyone else, even if it’s not you. Amy has some genuine problems, but that’s who she is. Her relationship with her father gave her major issues with men/sex/booze/commitment, which are only heightened by the fact that it’s hard out there for a single thirtysomething woman in New York. Apparently the solution to all that is just finding the right person to kiss on a fucking jumbotron and then assimilate into a heteronormative lifestyle with? Who needs self-acceptance or self-growth or functional independence when there’s a rich doctor to sweep you off your feet?

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being in a stable relationship, or wanting one. But the problem with "Trainwreck" is its suggestion that it’s the only fucking way. "Bridesmaids" may have not been especially transgressive in its primarily happily-ever-after conclusion, but it accepted its characters for who they were. Take McCarthy’s Megan, perhaps the happiest character in the film. She’s raunchy, single, slutty and boozey — but she doesn’t give a shit, and we’re not expected to either. 

By ultimately offering these morals, "Trainwreck" is really passing strong judgement on Amy Schumer herself — or at least, the Amy Schumer we know and love from the stand up specials and YouTube clips and the TV series. And the Amy Schumer we saw in the half of "Trainwreck" that actually felt like a movie she wrote. We’re posited as audience members to shame Amy, and for many of us — that ended up feeling a whole lot like shaming ourselves. 

This Article is related to: Reviews


Comments

Darren

Lol loved this movie because its true!!! Women that act this way ARE trashy and don’t have happy lives .science proves this with multiple studies !!

JB

And even Megan in Bridesmaids ends up with a man. And a load of puppies.
Thanks for this – will save my money on the cinema.

JF

THANK YOU. YES. Definitely marketed well to fans and to women and couples for a "fun" date movie, so I think that’s a big part of its success. But, thank you again for breaking this down. Yes!!!!

Brian

Devin Faraci’s written an interesting counterpoint to this article over at Birth Movies Death ("TRAINWRECK and the New Coming of Age"), arguing that it isn’t about shaming but instead about the natural/inevitable growth+change that every human goes through. Does his take do anything to mollify your reaction to the film?

Shantha Roberts

Was planning to see this, and probably still will I’m sure. I knew I felt very uneasy when I found out Apatow was attached to this. It seemed like a very….odd choice. I usually don’t watch anything he puts out because I find his movies to be highly unappealing. Thanks for letting me know my concerns weren’t unfounded.

Femanotzi

You’re an idiot. You’re a man. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Like white people trying to understand racism. You’re wrong.

John

Really enjoyed this take on the movie, which I thought was a mixed bag but for reasons that seem at odds with a lot of the common takes I’m seeing online. On the author’s point, though, I disagree that this movie presented the heteronormative, monogamist outcome as "only way." Amy as a character was perfectly content through the first half and the narrative didn’t present the love interest as a way out of a lifestyle that wasn’t working for her. The drama was set up as her anxiety over finding this guy threatening to a life she was genuinely enjoying and felt no guilt over. That’s heteronormative in its own way, but not really "slut-shaming" IMO. The throwing-out-the-bottles scene was cliche as hell, I’ll give you that. But I thought the cheerleader scene was brilliant and perfectly in line with Amy’s deep humanism–that is, she expressed contempt for them before but (in the spirt of her "Going Deep With Amy" segments) saw the value in what they did through their eyes in the end. All in all, a totally mixed bag as a viewing experience, but I thought at least neutral on the subject of "sluttery."

Raven

Just look at the "cheerleader arc" of the movie: 1) early on, Amy criticizes cheerleaders ("You just cost us the right to vote"); 2) in the middle, Aaron praises cheerleaders, specifically in contrast to Amy’s job of writing ("At least cheerleaders bring people together, unlike you and your friends at that magazine"); 3) Amy realizes Aaron is right, literally swaps the clothes of a professional for a sex object cheerleader outfit to win back the guy she wronged by taking an important business call during his oh-so-important utterly banal 25 second acceptance speech. Just awful.

Fred W

This is EXACTLY how I felt.

Thank-you for being honest.

Annie

I think it’s a little presumptuous to assume all of the good things in the first half are solely to Schumer’s credit, and the problems of the second half are solely Apatow’s. I also disagree with your argument that Bridesmaids had the supporting characters accept Annie for who she was. They encouraged her to change and take charge of her life, which she did, which served her well when she had an opportunity to reconcile.

That said, you do bring up some interesting points concerning how we expect certain things from artists, and the frustration when those aren’t met.

Frankie Flatch

This article is a joke.

Hieronymous Von Pillory

Also, the argument that gay men and femifists are interchangeable has no better proof than this crap fest of an article.

Hieronymous Von Pillory

Yes, it would have been MUCh better if the film ended with her naked in the gutter with a prolapsed anus dying of AIDS.

bliz

did u slutty ppl expect like a requiem style ass-to-ass scene or something?

bliz

also to the guy kyle commenting, apatow didn’t write anything for bridesmaids, he simply, again, rode cottails of someone talented and funny (or helped them get a break and expose them to larger audience, depending on your hatred of him)….i think both

bliz

Generic growth passed of as depth: every apatow movie has such themes near end…problem is schumer isnt that at all in real life or on stage…but i dunno maybe she’s aging and was tryin to fuse her stuff with apatow’s or is truly getting older and growing out of her old ways (as life does..)….if she’s not a skank her whole life just to suit her fans, does that mean she sucks? what if u grow and change…r u gonna be as into the non-norms still? what i think is that schumer and apatow r both con artists that manipulate their audiences for shock, message, and money….its also a major movie so i guess it needed to be broader humour and message…i also think that her humour is loaded with double ironies and satirical layers that both sarcastically mock and celebrate non-normative slutty type stuff….she is also a mixture of feminism: (i.e. schumerenka sketch lambasts sexism and shallow sexiness v.s. herpes sketch v.s. typist sketch…all the waves… if it was two years ago and tarantino directed the amy schumer mythology and world and character it’d be raw, real, unapologetic…but u got apatow, the guy that makes fantasies for fatties, stoners, jews and wasps, and privileged people (no, that wasn’t 40…not many 40 year olds look like rudd and run a record company living in a mansion with beautiful wife—judd’s one dimensional wife)…but they are still both pretty damn funny people, even if funny people sucked…

Jake

I agree 100%. It’ reminded me of how in Tim Burton’s Batman, he tried to assert the point that the only way to cope with the death of one’s parents is to dress up like a bat, find the person who murdered said parents, and throw them off a building. That may be the "norm," but it isn’t ME!

Jason

Her father had just died due to how he ravaged his body with alcohol abuse. So she stopped drinking. If that assaults your way of life you might have a drinking problem cause if anyone drinks as much as she was in that movie then they have a drinking problem. It also did not slut shame. This is an incorrect conclusion.

AJ

So basically if Amy Schumer isn’t being the person and comedic personality you want her to be than it must be someone else influencing her or her work? If she isn’t servicing your own demands on what you think she should stand for based on previous material it somehow makes anything her new material has to say null and void? Because it offends your sensibilities? Wow…screw off you pretentious ass.

Anne Grauso

I was soon happy to see this, based on the trailer, then once the Dad dies, the sister’s vanilla world takes over. Why Judd why?! A neat happy wrap-up. This is not the Amy we champion. A cheerleading routine??!!!! ICK. As I producer, I know that your first feature is a tough one, and you learn a lot, and mess up. I hope Amy makes many more films that are truer to the Amy we love.

Andrew Ade

An interesting take on the film’s plotting and message. But, my God, Knegt, what sloppy writing: "after seeing a second time alone the next night," "she got a condom got stuck to her cervix," "there’s a few differences," "the female comedienne," "judgement," no understanding of the difference between "who" and "that"–just a sampling of the howlers. It reads like a high school student’s first draft, dictated into his phone. Please work on your writing–you have smart ideas to get across but no means as yet to do so.

Vin

Apatow is an inherently conservative filmmaker. I am neither placing a value judgment on it, nor am I suggesting he’s conservative in the dumb cable news way in which people understand the term. He’s not my cup of team, but it never ceases to amaze me that people complain about his conservatism with every new released film as though it’s a revelation.

Kyle

Let me start by saiyng that I really like Amy Schumer and I’m not really a Judd Apatow fan. He’s always attached himself to more creative people and gone along for yhe ride it seems. So I have no problem with him being at fault for something if he’s to blame. I’ve disliked almost all of his movies in the last 5 years or so. But are you saying that this movie, which was not written by him but by Amy, is a terror becausr he turned her opus into something completely unrecognizeable and against her will? Whereas bridesmaids, which he did co-write (though it’s arguable how much I’m sure) is somehow saved by his same out of touch mindset? Even though he seemingly was more involved with the script that time? Couldn’t Amy just have wirtten a bad script? Of course it could all be his fault, I wouldn’t be shocked. But it just seems slightly presumptuous to assume just because we’ve built Amy Schumer up as the end all be all to the modern female mind and comedy over the last couple of years. But then again, she is very funny.

Ryan B

It is EXTREMELY clear Judd had an influence on her writing. If any of you people have actually seen a Judd Apatow film you would know it was evident. Just because he isn’t credited as "co-writer" does not mean he didnt influence her writing or help her re-write. Regardless of that issue- the article is true- we got a watered down Amy- and maybe some people think that’s character progression but I just found it pathetic to watch.

Dan

This is EXACTLY how i felt.
Bravo for being honest.

Scott

Thank you for this article; I feel like a crazy person because this is how I saw it and nobody else seems to have noticed. Just look at the "cheerleader arc" of the movie: 1) early on, Amy criticizes cheerleaders ("You just cost us the right to vote"); 2) in the middle, Aaron praises cheerleaders, specifically in contrast to Amy’s job of writing ("At least cheerleaders bring people together, unlike you and your friends at that magazine"); 3) Amy realizes Aaron is right, literally swaps the clothes of a professional for a sex object cheerleader outfit to win back the guy she wronged by taking an important business call during his oh-so-important utterly banal 25 second acceptance speech. Just awful.

Daniel Delago Boise Movies Examiner

Although Apatow didn’t co-write the script with Schumer, it certainly has his family values theme smeared all over it. Let’s at least rejoice in the fact that he didn’t cast his wife Leslie Mann and kids into the film. I thought Brie Larson was excellent as the sister. She’s ready to be a leading lady. ‘Short Term 12’ was brilliant.

Adam Stewart

There’s a fun way to be judgmental?

Nick

This is a poorly researched article and completely misunderstands Amy’s point. 1. It isn’t cowritten by Judd. It was only written by Amy, and from interviews talks about the autobiographical nature of it.

I expect more from an indieWire regular

See recent buzzfead review by Anne Helen Petersen for a better view of what Amy was going for.

Heather

Isn’t this a bit of a double standard? Nobody gets upset about a movie where a promiscuous, boozy, pot smoking man falls in love and settles down. Why freak out if it’s about a woman? I don’t think it was really meant to be taken seriously as any kind of commentary on women or how they should be in the kitchen makin’ sammiches. It’s a Judd Apatow movie. Expecting depth and insight from one of his movies is like expecting gourmet from Cheetos. Satisfying in a shameful way? Yes. Nutritious? No.

Fareed

uhhh- yes Apatow did co-write this film- Schumer talks about he he wrote half of the scenes all of the time- do some research people.

Kramer McLuckie

Schumer is the only credited writer. No co-writing (or even "story by" credit for Apatow). So you liked the part of the movie that’s like a sketch and didn’t like that part of the movie that’s like a movie, with character arcs and emotional stakes. That doesn’t mean that Amy Schumer didn’t write it all.

Christian

It seems reductive to blame Apatow for what fault you find in Trainwreck. Apatow is, in fact, not a co-writer on the project and without evidence coming out that he dramatically rewrote Schumer’s script, I would think that the formulaic elements are included within her script. While I agree that within the 2nd half of the movie, Schumer adopted a more conventional rom-com approach to the narrative, I never believed this was anyone but Schumer’s attempt to adopt the generic elements inherent. I’m not saying, however, that Apatow didn’t, of course, have a hand in the creation and refining of the narrative but that to cast blame entirely on him is to misinterpret what Amy Schumer was writing. Perhaps any fault you find in the narrative of the so-called "message" of the film lays squarely on both Schumer and Apatow. Not singularly on what you perceive, without any evidence, as Apatow watering down Schumer’s voice.

Ricardo

Very true that the movie chickens out and concludes in a pretty conformist & disappointing way. However, blaming Apatow and not precious Amy Schumer (who is the sole credited writer on the movie, and, yes, who I think is typically amazing as well) is pure speculation. Furthermore, it misses the point really. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is so much as it matters that the movie doesn’t have the courage of its own convictions AND the audience seems to not be picking up on the mostly-terrible message at the end.

Grant B

Ha, Junglesiren

" Drunken Whore" – look at you slut shamming – you just made any point you stated invalid.

Brian O'Qquin

People who think this film was authentically amy must not have watched any of her stand-up. It is clear her writing was influenced. The script follows every other Judd film. I don’t think he is being literal when he said judd " co wrote" it – he means that he put his mark on it- and obviously made changes to her original script.

The film was laughable- the entire love story was unreal and i couldn’t buy the connection between the two characters- people can bitch all they want about how it wasn’t that bad but you’re kidding yourselves- it was messily made- and not in a good way.

Lena Reed

I wish it wasn’t so- but it is exactly how i felt leaving the theater.

junglesiren

I disagree. She was doing a boy’s film in a girl’s body. It’s about growing up when you’re already a grown up. There is a formula and she followed it. What? She’s supposed to start the film as a functional drunken whore and end up the same? At some point drugs and heavy drinking aren’t all that fun. Trust me on that one.

Josh Bradley

First and foremost, you list Judd Apatow as a co-writer. He’s not. If you want to talk about his influence over the script in a directorial capacity, fine, but he is not a credited writer and there’s a reason for that.

Secondly, I disagree that her assimilation (as you call it) is unnatural. Amy doesn’t change because she’s forced to by Aaron or Kim. Her change comes from a realization that she’s good enough. That was her whole fear, the reason she and Aaron broke up; she was freaked out by the fact that he wanted her (she says as much in that scene). Once she accepts herself and loves herself, she allows him to love her as well.

DaTruth

Feel like you totally misread the movie that Amy Schumer wrote herself.

Sarah

That’s exactly how I thought. such a disappointment.

Grant Andrews

You realize who wrote the movie right?

Doug

Bravo, felt the same way. I walked out of the movie, and my first thought was: "I’ve been Apatowed."

Max

I’m not sure how it benefits the readers to assume that this film was not totally fluid in its conception and execution, ie 1/2 was really HER movie, and the other 1/2 his. THAT critical unpacking seems problematic. One could argue that the film’s major mistake is its display of sincerity — that as audiences become increasingly absorbed by the time tested conventions of the film’s rom-com narrative (which, I became absorbed), the activity of watching the film begins to resemble too closely the act of penetration. But, then, judging from the title of her sketch comedy show, perhaps this was the goal.

The argument that Amy’s character too readily accepts “society’s demands” by deciding to couple up, and thereby exiting progressive feminism from the film, feels in itself a dated outcry. Perhaps what’s so radical about Trainwreck’s resolution is that it accepts her choice – not to remain unhappy or happy being unhappy by getting with the guy – as a fair alternative.

Andrew Morris

Jesus Christ people, it’s a comedy.

Max

I’m not sure how it benefits the readers to assume that this film was not totally fluid in its conception and execution, ie 1/2 was really HER movie, and the other 1/2 his. THAT critical unpacking seems problematic. One could argue that the film’s major mistake is its display of sincerity — that as audiences become increasingly absorbed by the time tested conventions of the film’s rom-com narrative (which, I became absorbed), the activity of watching the film begins to resemble too closely the act of penetration. But, then, judging from the title of her sketch comedy show, perhaps this was the goal.

The argument that Amy’s character too readily accepts “society’s demands” by deciding to couple up, and thereby exiting progressive feminism from the film, feels in itself a dated outcry. Perhaps what’s so radical about Trainwreck’s resolution is that it accepts her choice not to remain unhappy or happy being unhappy by getting with the guy as a fair alternative.

Sully

I completely disagree. This editorial completely omits a major action & consequence segment in the story that makes a strong case for Amy’s change being self motiviated. Normally I wouldn’t care to comment but it seems unfair to undercut a good film with a contrived point backed up by incomplete analysis.

Max

I guess I sort of love that Trainwreck is emotionally messy and a little outdated in it’s narrative pay-off, but I appreciate, above all, that it is not feverishly PC like EVERY sketch she’s done for her show this season.

eric

Amy Schumer is the sole credited writer of this film. She didn’t co-write it. Judd is credited as directing and producing. Though that shouldn’t alter your argument much. There’s no doubt Apatow obviously had a big influence on the story and content of the film.

Sam Stewart

Thank you. This is spot on assessment of the merits and failures of this film. More than anything though I feel bad for Amy Schumer — I mean sure her career is on the rise, but was this really the film she wanted to make? I wish I could see a first draft, because I too want to believe that Judd Apatow was responsible for infecting this otherwise enjoyable comedy with an ode to the impeachable moral value of the nuclear family. I suppose we may never find out, though, lest Amy Schumer end up like Katherine Heigl…poor fool.

Gina Knegt

You summed up my feelings exactly.

Kristin

I totally agree, I was taken aback when that movie concluded. It made me cast doubt on other Apatow affiliated projects as well.

Bill Hoser

Exactly how I felt

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *