Trainwreck Review Roundup: Amy Schumer Hosts "One of the Freshest and Filthiest Coming-Out Parties in a While!"

Judd Apatow comedy stars Vanessa Bayer, John Cena, Bill Hader, LeBron James, Brie Larson and Colin Quinn

By Zach Johnson Jul 15, 2015 3:25 PMTags

Trainwreck is not a train wreck of a movie.

In fact, it's a runaway hit. Critics are laughing out loud at the Judd Apatow-directed comedy, written by and starring this year's breakout comic, Amy Schumer. Since childhood, magazine writer Amy (Schumer) has been afraid of commitment thanks to her father (Colin Quinn), who often told his girls that monogamy isn't realistic. Amy's sister Kim (Brie Larson) eventually got married and got pregnant, but Amy isn't sure if she's ready for that herself. And though she's been casually seeing Steven (John Cena), Amy might be ready for something more.

Enter Aaron (Bill Hader). Amy's SNuff Magazine editor Dianna (Tilda Swinton) assigns her to interview the sports doctor for an upcoming issue. After some flirty banter during their Q&A, Amy agrees to go on a date with Aaron.

The rest, as they say, is history.

NBA player LeBron James also appears in the film as himself.

The film is rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use.

Here's what critics have to say about Trainwreck:

Universal Pictures

Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty calls the movie "so sharp and funny," adding that Schumer's "star turn in Trainwreck…is one of the freshest and filthiest coming-out parties in a while. Rather than toning down her prickly persona to conform to the studio cookie cutter, she stays true to what makes her laugh." While the romantic comedy "isn't so radical that it subverts the formulaically feel-good ending implied in its setup," he notes, "Schumer gives their raunchy rom-com enough of her signature spikiness to prevent it from ever feeling predictable. She's created a decidedly new kind of screwball heroine—one who isn't ashamed of screwing, or screwing up."

• "Schumer is more than credible in the kind of role usually associated with men, making fun of her character's distrust of love while showing how honestly she comes by it," The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore writes. "It will be interesting to see how this picture fares commercially compared to Apatow's tales of similarly stunted young men: It's in the same league in terms of laughs, its romance works as well or better, and there's less fat on it than Apatow sometimes allows. What could keep it from being a hit, aside from double standards Americans apply to the sex lives of men and women?"

Universal Pictures

• Describing Amy as a "tart-tongued, booze-swilling serial dater whose love life is barreling downhill with ever-increasing velocity," Variety's Scott Foundas fell for the "screwed-up, screwball heroine at the center of a somewhat shaggy, frequently hilarious romantic comedy that, like much of Apatow's best work, delicately balances irreverent raunch with candid insights into the give-and-take of grown-up relationships." Schumer "has written herself a gem of a role here—one that allows her to show the full range of her comic gifts while doing a lot to subvert the ossified codes that dictate how women in Hollywood romantic comedies are supposed to behave." He adds that Schumer and Hader are "terrifically appealing together, in part because they aren't cut from the standard movie-romance cloth, and because Schumer doesn't give them standard movie-romance obstacles to overcome. There are no rival lovers here who must be jilted en route to the altar, but realer, trickier matters at hand, like Amy's lifetime of dating men who failed to stir any deeper feelings in her, and Aaron's gradual realization of what it really means to share your life with someone, for better and for worse."

Universal Pictures

• "Schumer's screenplay allows for plenty of poignant and very real moment...and she socks them home," Deadline's Pete Hammond writes. "This is a fully rounded performance that signals the arrival of an actress with genuine talent and natural instincts. Hader has not been better than he is here and proves he has navigated nicely from his SNL days into an emerging film star." Regarding Apatow, he says, "Trainwreck might be his best yet." Hammond gives most of the praise to the film's leading lady, though, writing, "This is Schumer's cinematic coming-out party, and she delivers, not only as a writer but a star. It is fun summertime, very R-rated stuff for adults who might not be into ant men or minions."

• At the start of the movie, The New Yorker's Anthony Lane recalls wondering, "Is it robust and plain-speaking, proud of its comic swagger, or is there something tight-mouthed in its imperative, with a hint of 'or else' hanging off the end?...Though a movie like Trainwreck sounds filthy enough, it cleans itself up as it goes along—setting off at a rough lick, yet soon displaying signs of moral decency. As in previous Apatow films, the temptations of togetherness eventually drown the siren call of the boudoir." By the end, he recalls thinking to himself, "So much for the promise of the title. Trainwreck sticks to the rails."

Universal Pictures

• "Trainwreck is all kinds of funny, and like any talent showcase worth its salt, the tone of the humor adjusts to suit the talents on screen," The Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips writes. "Apatow generally has trouble with his wrap-ups, and the final third or so of Trainwreck feels longish and full of detours."  Even so, Schumer and Hader make "you believe the character's transformation by romantic love."

Trainwreck is in theaters Friday.

(E! and Universal Pictures are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)