Are We Supposed To Like Amy Schumer?

amy schumer

After watching Trainwreck, I’m not sure.

Trainwreck, starring Amy Schumer in her first major movie role, has been tremendously successful out of the gate with an expected $50 million in box office after the first two weekends in release. It followed a pretty solid blueprint. Schumer is a budding star comic cast around folks with good comedy chops from Saturday Night Live, with gimmicks to get the fellas to check out the movie like John Cena and LeBron James.

But after two hours and change of Amy, I still wasn’t sure what the goal was. Are we supposed to like her?

She doesn’t play a very likable character for much of the movie. If her character was a male, we’d say she was a womanizing, boozing, uncaring weed smoker. But instead, she’s insecure and afraid of commitment, worried about deal breaking scenarios that haven’t happened, and scared of turning into her sister.

Her co-star, Bill Hader as Aaron Conners, is just the opposite. He’s a bit of a square, but super successful surgeon to the NBA stars, and someone who is very interested in making a casually sexually adventurous woman into a wife. Their chemistry as a couple is fine, though she’s purposely unconvincing in her role and for the entire movie, you’re waiting for her to screw things up because of a late night romp that’s based on her insecurity.

But there’s a problem with this setup. The movie spends so much time making Schumer’s Amy Townsend into a morally bankrupt person that building up to the climax, you know the goodness is coming, but you’re unsure if you want Hader’s Conners to say yes to her highlight reel apology. And that’s a major issue when it comes to whether I believe a romantic comedy is a good one or simply one I’d watch again.

Think about Julia Roberts’ character in My Best Friend’s Wedding. She was the dirt worst. She expected her best friend to be around when she was ready to be with him and when he moved on, she did whatever it took to sabotage his wedding, including trying to purposely mess with his career. But by the end, you accept her character’s flaws because she’s so damn charming and end up rooting for her.

I wasn’t rooting for Amy at the end. I’m not sure there was a reason to.

It’s quite possible that Schumer the actress can’t pull off what was necessary for the movie to be fulfilling. Her lack of facial expressions were glaring and she was a one-note guitar player in terms of her acting ability, but you have to cut her some slack on that because she’s a comedian playing actor. I’m sure she’ll get better (and she’ll get tons more chances because the movie is a financial success).

The part of this that’s odd to me is that Schumer was the main writer on the movie, so her character was in her own hands. She had the ability to write herself any way she wanted. Maybe if Schumer the actress was better, she could’ve pulled it off.

She also wrote LeBron James (playing a goofy version of himself) and John Cena’s Scott as fairly dumb and mundane, but then again, we’re not talking about a lot of clay to be molded. They were fun parts, but not completely necessary.

In what I would guess is an inside joke on Schumer, there’s a scene with her and Cena in bed and she is trying to get him to talk dirty to her. But he’s really bad at it and I think we’re supposed to believe that his character is either gay or confused. She asks him to describe the first time he saw her and the part that excites him the most is when he saw her rear end, thinking she was a man. Has she been assumed to be a man from the backside before in real life? Maybe someone called her a satchel ass. But Cena’s bare ass? You could bounce quarters off it. The guy was jacked as all hell.

(By the way, I immediately did Cena’s You Can’t See Me when he jumped on screen. And I could only think of the LeBron James kid when I saw him on screen. Cool sports cameos included Amare’ Stoudemire, Marv Albert, Tony Romo, and in my favorite part of the entire movie, Chris Evert Lloyd calling LeBron a c***block.)

I’m willing to give Schumer another chance as I think she’s funny. I just don’t know that she’s brilliant in a way that Tina Fey is. Then again, I’m a fan of Whitney Cummings and I know people who don’t think she’s all that talented. So it could very well be a taste thing and I just don’t get her.

All I know is that at the end of Fools Rush In, I never loved someone more who rolled her eyes and talked out of the side of her mouth than I did Salma Hayek’s character.

I didn’t love Amy nearly half as much.

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