Loved Trainwreck, but …

Saw it on Friday night, when it came out. I honestly think the last movie I saw on the day it came out was one of the Twilight movies, and that was done somewhat ironically. Fun story from that movie, BTW: I go on Friday AM (I was off work that day), and the whole audience is tween girls, their mothers, and their grandmothers. I’m in a totally full row of such people, and when Taylor Lautner takes off his shirt for the first time, one of the grandmothers in my row goes, “Oh, you get it boy!” It was mortifying and hysterical all at once.

So I go see it on Friday … I’d say all the same things everyone else on the Internet has seemed to say. It’s very good, but it’s not an all-timer or anything. Near the end, there’s a few too many celebrity cameos and it feels more like “a Judd Apatow movie” than “an Amy Schumer movie.” LeBron is really funny, perhaps moreso than I thought he would be going in. Bill Hader is a good foil, overall. John Cena will never reach the level The Rock did/has as an actor and “Franchise Viagra,” but he’s going to have a solid career in movies in and out of his WWE Title runs and all that.

Amy Schumer Trainwreck

There was something I started thinking towards the end of the movie, though, about the evolution of Amy Schumer as a comedienne (that’s the word, right?) and a movie anchor. So I thought I’d write about it.

First off, I love Amy Schumer. I love that we’ve reached a place in 2015 where a woman can sell out an arena in Houston predominantly talking about her sex life and being honest about the failures within it. Even 10-20 years ago, that wouldn’t be possible. I don’t know every comedian/comedienne in the world, but the first thing that pops is Sarah Silverman, and hers is a little less sex and more hipster/drugs stuff. Garfunkel and Oates talk about sex a lot, but I wouldn’t say they’re super mainstream or anchoring movies or anything. I’m probably missing a few. Roseanne back in the day I guess had that going on, but major magazines weren’t writing articles about wanting to “be her bae.” That happens with Schumer.

She’s 34, though.

So here’s what I wonder:

  • By all accounts, this movie — which she wrote — is almost a personal narrative. Her dad got MS; Colin Quinn gets MS in the movie. She’s “160 pounds and can catch a dick whenever she wants.”┬áThat’s Amy in the movie too. So this is her. The oldest writing adage in the book is “Write what you know.” Her sketch show has some amazing sketches — like 12 Angry Men, a semi-version of which is above — so I’m sure she can write millions of things (and way better than me, obviously) but you have to wonder what the next couple of projects look like, movie-wise. IMDB has nothing listed yet.
  • Trainwreck opened with $30.2 million (good), but it got killed by Ant-Man (not as good), so despite all the social media love for Schumer, there’s probably a few suits in Los Angeles saying she can’t carry a film.
  • Now think about this: in 5-10 years, let’s say she has a boyfriend or she’s married. She can still do the same comedy, sure — Rob Delaney is married, and his comedy is all about sex with other people and stuff — but then I start wondering about societal viewpoints on women. If a 40 year-old woman is up there talking about “mostly sex stuff” (the title of one of her specials), are people going to be groaning, or still thinking it’s funny? Phrased another way: if you’re a comedian and your game is mostly sex and relationships, does that have to shift when you get older (people want to hear older people discuss sex less and less) or get married? And if it doesn’t, does it have to for a woman because of what we think of a 20 year-old woman should be doing vs. a 30 year-old woman vs. a 40 year-old woman?

What’s your take: can Amy Schumer evolve as a comedienne, or is her window of glory and fame about 10 more years?

Ted Bauer


  1. There are many quotes related to show biz that in some way say “it takes years to become an overnight success.” I think of Amy’s career like that, which is good, because it excludes any gender argument which is de rigeuer these days and played out IMO. A good comic can talk about anything and make it funny. That’ll be her key, too. So, I don’t think it’s worth over-analyzing what she’ll talk about, because the proof will be the audiences’ reaction.

    FYI, one of the best comics performing now is Bill Burr. He can make anything funny. A case in point: a few years ago he was involved in various YouTube videos in which he gave tours of various cities. It’s just him riding around in a car and/or walking around making observations on-the-fly. These videos were totally unscripted, and it shows that even the mundane can be made funny by the right person. A couple links for reference:

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