If you’ve watched TV, read a magazine, walked around a major city, or simply been online in the last few weeks, it’s likely you’ve come across Amy Schumer at least a few dozen times.
The newly minted Emmy nominee has found plenty of praise and success for her Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer, been on the cover of GQ, Entertainment Weekly, and many more, and now she’s debuting in her first lead film role with the Judd Apatow-directed Trainwreck.
Amy Schumer stars as… Amy, raised by a father (Colin Quinn) to mistrust the idea of committment. She’s found success in her career, but lives a life in total opposition to her settled down, married sister, played by Brie Larson. Amy instead is content with a string of one-night stands, dates with less than wholesome characters, but that changes after she’s assigned a story by her editor (Tilda Swinton). She’s profiling a sports physician (Bill Hader), but the assignment quickly transforms into something, much to Amy’s surprise, that could possibly lead to a more long-term connection. But will Amy be OK with this about-face in her dating life, choosing to stick by a good guy who likes her as much as she likes him?
But beyond the film’s central question of Amy’s romance, there’s a few larger ones that loom over the film: Is Trainwreck another example of Schumer’s sharp, culturally relevant comedy, or does it fall prey to the trappings of the romantic comedies it seems built to criticize? And above all, is it funny?
For some, the answer seems to be a resounding yes, as EW‘s Chris Nashawaty, in his B+ review, called the film ” one of the freshest and filthiest coming-out parties in a while. Rather than toning down [Schumer’s] prickly persona to conform to the studio cookie cutter, she stays true to what makes her laugh.”
Read Nashawaty’s full review, as well as the thoughts from other critics on Schumer’s star turn, below. Trainwreck is now n theaters.
Chris Nashawaty (Entertainment Weekly)
“Trainwreck isn’t so radical that it subverts the formulaically feel-good ending implied in its setup. Beneath all of his bad-boy shtick, Apatow’s always been a pretty conventional moralist. But Schumer gives their raunchy rom-com enough of her signature spikiness to prevent it from ever feeling predictable.”
Manohla Dargis (The New York Times)
“What’s energizing and exciting about Amy, especially when compared with the sexless cuties populating rom-coms, in which female pleasure is often expressed through shopping, is that her erotic appetites aren’t problems that she needs to narratively solve and vanquish. She likes sex, thanks, as an early montage of her shuffling through various men nicely illustrates.”
Rebecca Keagan (Los Angeles Times)
“In scenes like the argument with Hader’s Aaron — and even more so a stirring funeral eulogy she delivers — Schumer also reveals surprising range, displaying a true vulnerability that explains the tossed barbs and empty bottles. That her goofy persona plays so well is in part a tribute to Hader, a generous, dreamboaty straight man. His subtle, often wordless reactions perfectly punctuate scenes such as when sports-hating Amy claims her favorite team is the Orlando Blooms.”
Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle)
“The movie boasts the best title of any comedy this summer. People will want to see it on the basis of the title alone, and yet the title’s promise is unfulfilled. Amy Schumer, who wrote the screenplay and stars in the movie, is both not enough of a train wreck here and too much of one. That is, the character she plays is not so off the charts as to be amazing, funny and outrageous. But she is just enough of a train wreck to be unpleasant, selfish and obnoxious.”
Ty Burr (Boston Globe)
“What makes the movie feel sharp and new is that Schumer acknowledges the self-loathing, the self-sabotage, that can roil the psyche of even a bright, sexually powerful woman in a society that mostly values supermodels. She just plays her observations for comedy, sometimes rueful, more often outrageous, while knowing the sadness will leak through on its own.”
Stephanie Zacharek (Village Voice)
“And while the picture is occasionally very funny — because when she lets loose, Schumer does have a fantastic, loosey-goosey wiliness — it also feels carefully constructed to make its points, chief among them that men can get away with all kinds of bad or crazy behavior that women can’t.”
Brian Truitt (USA Today)
“With films such as Funny People and This Is 40, Apatow has toyed with finding the right blend of the serious and the hilarious and finally hits it here. Whether you end up liking Amy or not, you feel for her on her journey, and that’s a testament to the director/star chemistry.”
John DeFore (The Hollywood Reporter)
“Schumer has never had anything like a leading film role, but self-revealing stand-up and a TV series have limbered her up for the job. If she doesn’t have quite the range of some other nascent stars Apatow has worked with, her writing makes up for it, and she’s comfortable enough with the director’s trademark improvisation that Trainwreck plays as if it were fully scripted.”
Joe Morgenstern (The Wall Street Journal)
“The film is full of terrific sequences, moments and notions—you don’t care if it feels hit or miss when there are many more hits than misses. But then Amy’s life gets to be no laughing matter, the tone turns tentative, the jokes turn sour, the momentum slows and the previously irrepressible energy feels false. The filmmakers try to regain their footing with storytelling strategies that include a fantasy device notable only for its leaden execution, and a grotesquely overproduced climax. But the problem proves insoluble, because the love affair between Amy and Aaron has itself been a fantasy from the start; in the end it can’t withstand serious scrutiny. “
Anthony Lane (The New Yorker)
“Though a movie like Trainwreck sounds filthy enough, it cleans itself up as it goes along—setting off at a rough lick, yet soon displaying signs of moral decency. As in previous Apatow films, the temptations of togetherness eventually drown the siren call of the boudoir. “
Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)
“Amy Schumer makes you laugh till it hurts. Proof is in her Comedy Central series, Inside Amy Schumer, with its classic skits on Bill Cosby and whether Schumer is hot enough for TV. Proof positive is in her starring movie debut in Trainwreck. In the lead role and as screenwriter — with director Judd Apatow expertly harnessing her energy, not taming it — Schumer is a whole summer of comic fireworks wrapped in one ballsy package. Or is that sexist? Heads up, guys. Schumer’s assault on caveman attitudes hits like a kick in the nut sack.”
Overall Metacritic rating (1-100): 75
Rotten Tomatoes: 87 percent
Length: 124 minutes
Starring Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Tilda Swinton
Distributor: Universal Pictures