‘Trainwreck’ Reviews: Critics Say Amy Schumer Loses Some TV Edge in Big-Screen Debut

Judd Apatow’s rom-com featuring the Comedy Central star, Bill Hader and LeBron James could have been trimmed, reviewers say

Reviewers warn audiences not to expect the outrageousness of Amy Schumer’s Comedy Central show to be mirrored in the Judd Apatow-directed flick “Trainwreck.”

The “Inside Amy Schumer” star makes her big-screen debut alongside Bill Hader and LeBron James in this Universal Pictures production. Schumer plays Amy, a proud commitment-phobe who lives by her own rules. Hader stars as her love interest Aaron, a sports doctor Amy must interview for a men’s magazine who is good friends with James.

Though it isn’t as risqué as Schumer’s series, this unconventional rom-com’s 86 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes proves it has critics’ approval. Many are hailing “Trainwreck” for bending gender roles, though a select few are criticizing the film’s length (nearly two hours).

Alonso Duralde wrote in his review for TheWrap:

“That this particular woman happens to have been written and portrayed by Amy Schumer goes a long way toward making this sharp, funny film more than just a mere switcheroo of longstanding gender roles. Her scathing, brilliant Comedy Central series ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ takes a scalpel toward prevailing attitudes about sexuality and relationships, and while her debut as a screenwriter and leading lady doesn’t quite reach the outrageous heights of her TV work, ‘Trainwreck’ remains hilarious and provocative, heralding what we can only hope will be a pot-stirring new voice on the big screen.”

Sara Stewart of the New York Post wrote:

“I’m sure it will be said that Schumer is playing the guy role in ‘Trainwreck,’ written by her and directed by Judd Apatow, who’s found his groove collaborating with funny ladies. But that’s not the subversive thing about this film; rather, it’s the vulnerable, emotionally available men at its center. Hader, sweet, goofy and down-to-earth, seems poised to be this generation’s Tom Hanks. As Amy’s so-right-it’s-painful love interest, sports doctor Aaron Conners, he sidesteps her manic commitment-phobia with comebacks like, ‘Well, I think we really like each other and we should start dating.'”

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote:

“Sweet is not how Schumer wants ‘Trainwreck’ to go down. She wants to explode rom-com clichés and replace them with something fierce and ready to rumble. Done.”

Lindsey Bahr of the Associate Press wrote:

“The biggest surprise about ‘Trainwreck’ is how conventional Amy’s arc actually is. It’s an eyebrow-raiser that might seem like even more of a cop-out if it weren’t for the magnificent Bill Hader, charming and hilarious even in this straightforward role … If you’re looking for something radical, you’d be best to stick with Schumer’s television show.”

Christopher Orr of The Atlantic wrote:

“My harshest critique of ‘Trainwreck’ is that it offers too much of a good thing. This exquisitely rude rom-com is the most flat-out hilarious film to hit screens in many moons, a big-screen breakout for Schumer and a return to form for Apatow after the disappointment of ‘This is 40.'”

Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal wrote:

“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. That said, American comedy doesn’t get much better than ‘Trainwreck’ at its best.”

Dana Stevens of Slate wrote:

“Like nearly all of Apatow’s films, ‘Trainwreck’ could lose 20 minutes. A scene in which LeBron stages a relationship intervention with Hader’s character, aided by Marv Albert, Chris Evert, and, for some reason, Matthew Broderick (all “as themselves”) veers so far into sketch-comedy zaniness that it breaks the movie’s comic rhythm.”

“Trainwreck” opens in theaters on July 17.

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