Why Trainwreck Was a Disappointment

Guys…I’m disappointed.

As a huge fan of Inside Amy Schumer and its unabashedly feminist point of view, I had high hopes for her new movie, Trainwreck, directed by Judd Apatow.

I love her Bill Cosby sketch. I love her spoof of 12 Angry Men, in which a jury made up entirely of men debate whether or not Amy is hot enough to be on TV. I love Last Fuckable Day, about the shelf life of female celebrities’ sex appeal, and of course, the famous video game sketch, in which female military officers are raped, then pressured not to report the violation.

So it was with great anticipation that I set off for the movie theater last weekend. Jordan was watching our daughter…yes, I was so excited that it warranted a “honey, will you please solo parent so I can go do this thing?” request. I wanted to vote with my dollars for a film with a strong female lead…give it a strong opening weekend. (I did the same for Bridesmaids.) And I’m glad I did.

I just wish the movie had been better.

I missed the fierce feminist bite of the show. I hated the male savior stuff — the love interest (Bill Hader) who cures Amy of her promiscuous ways. It would have been so much more radical to let her remain comfortable with her promiscuity…or to become uncomfortable with it, and let her sit with that discomfort. Anything but being swept off her feet by The Perfect Guy.

When the movie ended with a cheerleading sequence, I wanted to scream. YOU BLEW IT! (Fans of Copland, imagine DeNiro saying that line: “You. Blew it.”) You had a big shiny platform and instead of skewering expectations of women, you squeezed yourself into the same old uniform.

I loved watching Bill Hader, but I wanted this to be her movie, not his. And even though I’m not necessarily a huge fan of Kristen Wiig’s (side note: my bartender the other night looked EXACTLY LIKE HER), I found myself missing the Hader/Wiig chemistry from Skeleton Twins

In other news, Tilda Swinton is a genius.

I went to the theater to see this film all revved up for a hilarious, feminist film experience. Instead, I sat through a bunch of trailers about victimized, objectified women (oh, they were HORRIBLE), and then I watched a traditional rom-com about a man solving all of a woman’s problems. 

Please do better, Hollywood.

Postscript: As the credits rolled, the women next to me gushed, “Wow! She looked GREAT.” Which is, of course, so not the point…and which is why we need movies that are smarter than this one.

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