Trainwreck screening at MIFF? Surely not. Doesn’t it feature that loud, gauche comedienne Amy Schumer? Isn’t it true that the hardest thing in Hollywood is to find a beautiful, funny women (so said former Disney CEO Michael Eisner)? The fun fact to learn from this, gentle readers, is that Michael Eisner, other than being a bit of an idiot, obviously doesn’t get out much. There are mainstream movies at MIFF, with well-known, funny, beautiful bankable stars, some with vaginas, and destined to be appearing at a cinema near you (well, not near me but I live in the country). I just haven’t booked many of them. Sleeping with Other People is mainstream. I saw that. Results is mainstream, it stars Guy Pearce after all, and that is the very movie that I blew off in order to go see Trainwreck with my dear friend Jo.
I knew nothing about Trainwreck except that it stars Schumer, someone I am fond of since my husband, Ron, stumbled across her on late night television. The film starts with a father telling his two young daughters that he is divorcing their mother. He explains it to them in a clever and extended metaphor about having a doll to play with and that not meaning you can’t play with any other doll for the rest of your life, or play with your doll’s best friend, or play with a doll just for a few hours and then never play with it again. Amy takes this to heart and when she grows up eschews monogamy. She, of course, is the train wreck of the title, not because she sleeps around, but because she can’t connect with other people.
The trajectory of this movie will be obvious to anyone who has ever seen another mainstream romcom. She meets a guy, she treats him badly, she falls in love, lessons are learned, happiness prevails. What carries this movie, though, and lifts it above others of its ilk is the sharp-mouthed humour of Schumer. She reminds me of Rebel Wilson’s character in Pitch Perfect – she has all the great lines, she can be self-deprecating but it always seems to come from a strong sense of confidence and self-worth. She is beautiful and funny (take that Mr Eisner) but of course we don’t think about the beautiful, we are so busy laughing at the funny.