'I Really Like You': Amy Schumer Makes A Fine 'Trainwreck' The comedy Trainwreck, written by Amy Schumer and directed by Judd Apatow, takes a few risks with the romantic comedy formula on which it ultimately relies. Plus: LeBron James!


'I Really Like You': Amy Schumer Makes A Fine 'Trainwreck'

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Producer-director Judd Apatow is known for raunchy comedies - "Bridesmaids," "Knocked Up," "Anchorman" and others. His latest movie, "Trainwreck," opens today. "Trainwreck" is the first feature film for its writer and star, comedian Amy Schumer. Schumer is plenty raunchy, but NPR's pop-culture writer, Linda Holmes, says she all also breaks a number of Hollywood romcom conventions.

LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: To be a lead in a Hollywood romance, especially a female lead, is to be told what's wrong with you - a lot. Here's Jennifer Lopez getting a talking to in "The Wedding Planner," Jennifer Aniston getting a talking to in "Love Happens" and Katherine Heigl getting a straight-up slap in the kisser from her best friend in "27 Dresses."


JUDY GREER: (As Penny) Mary, you haven't been on a date in two years.

JENNIFER LOPEZ: (As Mary Fiore) Your point?


GREER: (As Marty) I just hate seeing you get so disappointed and hurt every single time.


KATHERINE HEIGL: (As Jane) Oh, yeah. Yeah, you're right. I needed that.

HOLMES: And how much of a formula are we talking about? One character actress, Judy Greer, is the friend in all three of those movies. The fact that Amy Schumer's character in "Trainwreck," also named Amy, is the reason it's called "Trainwreck" would make you think she's in for similar treatment. But there's no Judy Greer in this movie. She's been swapped out for Lebron James, but we'll get to that. Amy starts as a boozy, single magazine writer for whom sex is pretty low-stakes, but sleeping over is too intimate. She gets her outlook from her dad, played by Colin Quinn, who drummed into Amy and her sister at an early age that partnering up is for suckers.


COLIN QUINN: (As Gordon) You got your doll, right? You got your doll there.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Yes.

QUINN: (As Gordon) You love your doll.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Yes.

QUINN: (As Gordon) Yes, but what if I told you that was the only doll you were allowed to play with the rest of your life? How would you feel?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Sad.

QUINN: (As Gordon) You'd feel sad.

HOLMES: But while she is sort of a mess, she's not lonely or waiting around or disappointed and hurt. She's got other things on her mind, like working and caring for her father, who's now in assisted living. When she's sent to profile a surgeon, played by Bill Hader, who treats pro athletes, the stakes do start off low. It gets tricky when they run into the one factor that so many romantic comedies put off until the very last minute - they like each other. And that's his response after she says they shouldn't mix romance and work.


BILL HADER: (As Aaron) I think we really like each other and we should start dating.

AMY SCHUMER: (As Amy) No, I'm saying - I'm confused. Am I not communicating this right? Like, I...

HADER: (As Aaron) No, I hear you. I'm just saying I disagree. Do you like me?

SCHUMER: (As Amy) Yeah.

HADER: (As Aaron) Yeah, see. I really like you. So we should be a couple.

HOLMES: Consider how weird it is that Hollywood romantic comedies so often position love as something that happens to people who don't like each other. This winds up being "Trainwreck's" most unexpectedly audacious idea - that, for adults, it's the ones you like that get complicated, not the ones you fight with for an hour-and-a-half and then kiss in the rain. That exchange and those words, I really like you, become the involving part of the story and the sexy part, too. Both Schumer and Hader have the potential for such outsized silliness that when their performances are still and straightforward, it feels like it matters. It's still a comedy, and it's really funny. Maybe the nicest surprise is that the supportive sidekick isn't her best friend, but the sports doctor's confidant, Lebron James, played very convincingly, by the way, by Lebron James, who offers advice about love, but also about his hometown.


LEBRON JAMES: (As himself) Do you know Cleveland's great for the whole family?

HADER: (As Aaron)Yes, yes, yes, I do. You tell me that all the time. You'll randomly just text me that, which is weird.

JAMES: (As himself) And what's wrong with that?

HADER: (As Aaron) It's weird.

JAMES: (As himself) I got free texting.

HOLMES: Make no mistake, "Trainwreck" has some very traditional romantic comedy elements, including a big impossible finish. But even if you know where you're going to wind up, it takes interesting side trips along the way. Linda Holmes, NPR News.

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