Recently a friend asked me to go see the movie “Trainwreck” with her. I hadn’t heard of it so of course I went straight to the internet for guidance. It was a rom-com. And I’d already agreed to it. SHIT!
In general I just hate rom-coms. HaaaAAAAte. You have to imagine me saying that with a lot of hot, phlegmy breath drawn out over at least seven seconds in order to hear the tone of disgust in my voice. I still went because she’s a friend going through a break-up and you kind of have to make sacrifices in times like this, right? So of course I suggested that we meet at one of the local movie theaters that serves beer, to take the edge off.
To my surprise, Trainwreck didn’t turn out to be as much of a trainwreck (HA SEE WHAT I DID THERE) as I’d expected. Maybe if I had noticed that it was by Judd Apatow, or paid attention to the movie industry enough to know what a Judd Apatow even is, I might have been better prepared. (I’ve gotten by for several years now with almost complete disinterest Hollywood, and that’s still not about to change.)
There was a good amount of wacky movie formula jokes but with a heavy underbase of cynicism plus raunchy and dark humor that kept me from wanting to stab myself in the ovaries. In fact I actually laughed really loud several times, giving zero fucks that I was the only one in the theater who seemed to even catch the joke.
The main character, Amy is what some might call a “slut.” She’s in her early 30’s or so, happily living the one-night stand single life in New York. By day she works as a writer for a men’s magazine that might as well be Maxim or one of those pieces of garbage. On assignment to interview a famous sports surgeon, they end up dating and falling in love. (That’s not a spoiler, it’s practically in the fucking trailer, OK?)
The sports surgeon aspect allows them to shoehorn in a good half dozen Sportsdude cameos to keep the men entertained as they are reluctantly dragged along to see some chick-flick with the ol’ lady in hopes that this will lead to a blowjob later in the evening.
Otherwise, the plot is pretty much just as predictable as you’d expect from a rom-com … except the stereotypical roles are gender-swapped. Here, Amy is the non-monogamous one unwilling to commit. The female is the pig, the boorish jerk who ditches her one-night stands, the one who should somehow come around to settling down and accepting love.
And yet, there’s no slut shaming. Sure, there are some jokes but it’s nothing out of the ordinary for a movie like this. One character approaches slut shaming with a lame joke but he’s more or less shot down immediately.
Even better, there is very little mention of the fact that she kind of just looks like an average woman. In fact, most of the guys in her life (mostly attractive meatheads) tell her how beautiful she is. The one negative comment is made by a blunt character in such a brutally dismissive way and not followed with an attempt to give her a makeover that the whole thing kind of just rolls off to the side and forgotten.
All this adds up to a subtle “I don’t give a fuck” feminist quality that I absolutely loved. The way the stereotypical gender roles are swapped worked rather seamlessly in the story and they never felt the need to point out “hey, see what we did here? She’s like a dude! It’s backwards! Isn’t that great?”
The movie did drag a bit at the end with some saccharine-coated bullshit where the two characters fight, and get back together, and all that usual junk. Whatever. It was still pretty worth it.
The verdict: 3/5
Definitely watch or rent for cheap, or your DVR to record an uncensored version. Take a date to see what sort of sense of humor they have. Try to have a beer handy to get through the last 30 minutes.
Don’t go too far out of your way to see Trainwreck, but definitely check it out of you need a good laugh.