Trainwreck (2015)

I just don’t understand the vanity.

At a full thirty minutes longer than it needs to be, Trainwreck has a decent amount of laughs but standing in the way is the need for Amy Schumer to be the best and brightest person in the room.  Sure she has some things that need sorting, like being a bit obnoxious, by the end of the film (by meeting the right man apparently) but we’re also supposed to find it all perfectly charming / liberating and she is still just the best etc.

There are three key scenes; 1. Amy drinks a carton of wine in the cinema, apparently unable to spend a couple of hours without drink.  Her boyfriend (a game, self-mocking turn by John Cena) then gets in an argument with another movie goer and Amy remains the best person in the world. 2. Amy and her sister meet for brunch and Amy starts drinking, her sister’s husband and stepson are there so Amy gets to be hilarious again. 3. Amy is shown pouring alcohol down the sink in the traditional last act redemption montage.  These three scenes suggest a better, more interesting avenue but why have actual problems when you can just be smarter than everyone else?  Why put in the extra work when you can just use your stage persona and pretend that when it’s transposed to interactions it doesn’t just seem a bit awful?

It’s the same when Rogen (etc) does it and that is perhaps the biggest disappointment.

But there are some decent laughs and Schumer and Bill Hader do make a plausible, normalish couple.  Meanwhile, Tilda Swinton shows us what it is to disappear into a character and we all want to watch that film instead.

Spy (2015)

Spy just isn’t funny.  It might be to you but, save for some fun moments where Jason Statham revels in self-awareness… well, humour is subjective and I just don’t get this particular rambling, post-Apatow brand.  For two hours.

Why is it always two hours?

But I can’t dismiss it out of hand because it is a good hearted movie.  Everyone appears to be enjoying themselves in a ‘let’s include the audience’ sort of way, Melissa McCarthy is more likeable than before, and it’s a decent blend of action and yukkity-yuks.  Also, because the central character is female we don’t have to sit through the usual tired male wish fulfilment nonsense of Seth Rogen getting the much more brilliant woman despite being, well, Seth Rogen’s on-screen persona.

So, good fun if you like that sort of thing.

Oh, and Alison Janney.  Who should really be in most things because she is ace.

Recommend for people but not me.

Ironically, I was the only person in the cinema.