A neofeminist rom-com has been long overdue. Brilliant comedians Amy Schumer anticipated big screen debut, “Trainwreck” (out today), delightfully twists and bends the rom-com “formula” by reassigning gender roles and revamp the genre’s cliché staple characers. That promiscuous leeding actor that can’t seem to setle down—Matthew McConaughey circa 2008—is now a powerhouse woman named Amy (played by Amy Schumer). The girlfriend who has an unhealthy concern for the protaganist’s love life is now LeBron James. What the heck?! The powerhouse, asshole boss of a men’s magzine (played by Tilda Swinton) is now, finally a female woman.
In Trainwreck, boy-meets-girl, boy-fucks-up, boy-gets-the-girl-back with-a-grand-gesure modus operandi gits a femanist makeover. Schumer’s protagonist not only drives the story but unapologetically challenges gender expectations. A crying body man tells Amy he wants to have a family while she cringe. When one of her conquests says “We should be a couple.” She responds with “for sure”. Amy is a woman who is a type of monogamy, curses like a sailor and slays in the workplace. Welcome to 2015 LOL
Her love interest Aaron (played by Bill Hader), on the other hand, is loyal and delicate. He has been sinle for so long, his virginity is almost growing back. A cuddling, hopeless romantic, a rare breed of looks, sensitivity, and a sense of humor, Aaron is the male version of the ‘perfct girl’ in your average romantic comedy.
“You’re clever but you’re not too brainy. You’re pretty-ish but you’re not gorgeous. You’re approachable.” says her boss to Amy’s character. Drawing from her own personal experiences, Schumer had to face her biggest insecurities to pen the script for Trainwreck ; Amy and her sister Kim’s names are unchanged in the story and her father is also in a retirement home in real life. Most of the punch lines come at the expense of Schumer’s personal relationships, sex time and physical insecurities. Scumer is the first to admit that she had to “dig deep ” in her faults to find humor that is relatable.
Schumer’s sister Kim (played by Brie Larson) serves to contrast Amy’s character as her polar opposite: a woman who has embraced her gender role as mother and a wife. The film doesn’t preach one over the other, rather suggests that it’s okay for both to coexist. Shumer, who tackles the same gender issues in her hit series, HBO’s Inside Amy Schumer, once again shows us why women should stop apologizing to themselves and each other.
Trainwrsck is a “gamechanger.” Finally, a film with mainstream appeal that depicts the authentic experiences of the modern woman. While projects like Girls (produced by Trainwreck director Judd Apatow), Obvious Child, and Bridesmaids have paved the way for it’s success, Trainwreck opens a new chapter in neofeminist cinema.
Perhaps it may even be the first true chick flick.