Trainwreck: The Past Won’t Let You Go Without A Fight


Amy Schumer’s team-up with Judd Apatow,?Trainwreck, arrived on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD without the fanfare that it might have a few months ago. A casualty in another theater shooting, the film deserves more attention, even if it is a jumbled cocktail that fails to completely blend. Schumer’s insights?are?powerful and funny, even if we don’t always know what to do with what she’s telling us.

As a little girl, Amy (Schumer) is told by her father (Colin Quinn) that “monogamy isn’t realistic.” It becomes her motto in work, in relationships, and, most definitely, in the bedroom. She so fears the same fate that befell her mother (to be cuckolded and abandoned) that she refuses to let anyone get close – until she meets sports doctor, Aaron Conners (Bill Hader). Suddenly, she’s drawn into something more than sex, more than physical pleasure, and she has no compass by which to determine her direction.

Handed the keys to the kingdom (a full-length feature film), Schumer tried to do too much. She sets out for a?Bridesmaids-level comedy on her own (without a wing-woman like Melissa McCarthy or anyone else to prop her up) that is ambitious in its own right. But she’s aiming high enough for guys, too, with her fitting more-than-a-cameo performances by John Cena and LeBron James from the worlds of WWE and the NBA. And she wants to draw out a powerful exploration of what it means to learn and grow when your past is stacked against you emotionally and socially.

The Blu-ray combo pack features deleted scenes, the unrated version, a look at Daniel Radcliffe’s funny ‘cameo’ in “The Dogwalker” movie-within-a-movie, the prerequisite gag reel, and commentary from Apatow and Schumer.

For my money, the funniest moments are left to Hader and James. The ‘bromance’ of these two as an odd couple, with the switch of expectations between the male and female relationships, provides insight as well. Out of all of the film’s gags, it’s these moments that brought the most laughs – even though Schumer is the mind behind all of them.

Schumer has something to say about the way that the social constructs, the family impact, of our past control our future. They form us and direct us from an early age, before we know better. They’re not just about sex and relationships, but about race, religion, gender, and much more. What defines us as human beings is what we determine for ourselves when the time comes. Will we be who we are called to be, meant to be? Will we be ourselves, choosing to live and believe in what we know to be true, even when it conflicts with what we’ve been taught?

This is ultimately a “coming of age” movie – it’s just that it takes some of us longer to grow up than others.

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