Amy Schumer’s and Judd Apatow’s ‘Trainwreck’ brings laughs to Bonnaroo

By Ross Wilson//Staff Writer

Amy Schumer has enjoyed great success making fun of her complicated sex life and her figure that’s, well, more ordinary than a magazine model’s. In her stand-up routine and her Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer, she constantly pokes fun at herself.

Now, she’s taking on the multiplexes, in a Judd Apatow movie no less. The movie, Trainwreck, was given an advanced screening Thursday in the Cinema Tent at the 2015 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Based on the uproarious laughter, the film wasn’t a disappointment to a couple of hundred festival-goers.

Apatow, who is known for directing instant comedy classics like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, enlisted the comedian to star in – and pen the script – for his fifth directing effort.

With this partnership, the comedians have produced one of the best studio comedies since 2011’s Bridesmaids.

The film, directed by Apatow and starring Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson and Tilda Swinton, will premiere worldwide July 17.

Trainwreck tells the story of a New York City magazine journalist named Amy, played by Schumer, who is perfectly content to make fun of her married younger sister (Larson) while Amy lives the hard-partying and no-strings-attached lifestyle espoused by her father. However, she develops a relationship with a prominent sports doctor (Hader) after the editor (Swinton) of the men’s magazine she works for assigns him as the subject of her next article.

Fans of the comedian will certainly be rewarded for seeing Trainwreck, where they can expect her usual unabashedly vulgar, crude, profanity-laden and feminist comedy. Some newcomers may be put off by the female comedian’s crass humor, including a hilarious sex scene with the wrestler John Cena, but if the script didn’t push envelope, then it couldn’t be called the fantastic work of Schumer.

In fact, this honest and crude comedy is what allowed Schumer to break into the notorious boys club known as Apatow Productions.

Schumer hasn’t been shy about acknowledging the autobiographical inspirations of her script, and these bone-deep inspirations show in comedic highs and the tragic lows of the film. Many potential audience members may be wondering if the comedian can act, and Schumer certainly silences the disbelievers in this film, especially during one emotional scene late in the film.

Apatow is known for directing and producing some of the best comedies in the past decade, and the director is notorious for granting his actors the freedom to improvise. Apatow seems to have continued this decision with Schumer to tremendous effect.

Surprisingly, some of the best comedic moments come from supporting roles and cameos by actors not known for their comedy efforts. Despite the odds of a comedy entering the Oscar race, Swinton deserves recognition for her icy, yet hilarious, performance as Amy’s spray-tanned, abrasive editor. The actress has no problem unleashing degrading zingers against Amy, and she obviously poured her work and enjoyment into the role.

In addition to Cena’s cameo, Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James makes an enjoyable supporting turn as himself, which should have both basketball fans and those who may not be familiar with the player rolling with laughter. “Trainwreck” includes a rogue’s gallery of additional famous faces to fill the frame, but many of the names are best left as a surprise.

Of course, as romantic comedy at heart, Trainwreck depends on the chemistry between the central love interests. Luckily, Schumer and Hader play well together on the screen, and they are a lovable couple you want to see together at the end of the film. Future collaborations between the two leads would not be surprising.

To see our full archive of Bonnaroo coverage, click here.

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To contact Lifestyles editor John Connor Coulston, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com

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