Tuesday, 18 August 2015

REVIEW - TRAINWRECK (JUDD APATOW)


For everything particularly right about Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer's Trainwreck, there's nothing particularly wrong about it. It's a flattering characteristic of a consistently engaging film, one which invites the viewer in through Schumer's generosity as an artist. She's a ballsy performer, with a finely-honed repertoire of a variety of gags, and her style of comedy is winning in its openness - she wants to make you laugh, at almost any expense. Schumer takes on her Trainwreck role with a relaxed countenance that strips away the potential self-awareness, thus you only rarely (if ever) feel like she's grovelling for admiration the way some supposedly self-effacing comedians do. She courts too controversial a line at times - not that her material is too racy, just that neither she nor director Judd Apatow is capable of framing her racy jokes in an appropriate context - and her humour is hardly revolutionary, but it is really good. Would that Apatow could contribute more to a film that, alas, features his name first over the end credits. He resigns himself to his lead, allowing her to take over, while subtly shading each scene in his own, tired tones. Trainwreck is tempered by Apatow's commercial sensibilities - perhaps thankfully, but you wish for a more radical approach to the direction, something in the visuals and the pacing to match the quality of the dialogue. Too often, Trainwreck succumbs to rom-com formula, most notably in its plot, and the ephemerality of a good gag here and there won't suffice to rescue it. Still, there's nothing particularly wrong about it, and that's particularly right.