There’s an early gag in Trainwreck, the new comedy written by and starring Amy Schumer and directed by Judd Apatow, in which our protagonist, also named Amy, stumbles home with a new male conquest and watches him disrobe. When the fellow drops trou, she is both astonished and appalled at the extent of his manhood. “Your dick doesn’t end!” she exclaims.
I wasn’t sure when I saw the film (and I’m still not) whether this was a cunning bit of self-mockery: Apatow’s raunchy comedies have consistently been chided for their excessive length, and Trainwreck, which clocks in at just over two hours, is no exception. This is a movie from which 15 or 20 minutes could have been profitably trimmed.
Which is to say that 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. (I was, and remain, a committed defender of the oft-maligned Funny People.)
Following a prologue in which Amy’s father (Colin Quinn) explains to his young daughters the impossibility of monogamy by way of a child’s doll (“What if I told you this was the only doll you could ever play with for the rest of your life?”), we flash ahead 23 years to find the grownup Amy taking her dad’s advice to heart. Her encounter with the over-endowed paramour is merely one of a series of interchangeable one-nighters. Groggily waking up in one strange bed, she prays, “Please don’t be a dorm room, please don’t be a dorm room,” only to discover a reality almost as horrific: Staten Island. (Her shame-ride back to Manhattan, however, proves admirably shame-free, as she Titanic-poses on the guardrails of the Staten Island Ferry.) Amy does have one regular fella, the walking HGH-supplement Steven (a surprisingly funny turn by WWE star John Cena). But following her sublimely unsuccessful effort to coach him to talk dirty, it’s all downhill for that relationship.