Here's a good way to meet a guy: Become a journalist, write a profile. It worked for Anastasia Steele in 50 Shades of Grey. One minute, the fledgling reporter is in her subject's office asking him how he became a success; the next, she's in a room stocked with unique hand-tooled implements, learning what BDSM stands for and being told she needs a safe word.
It works for Amy Schumer, too, in the wildly funny, Judd Apatow-directed Trainwreck, in which the comedy star with the eyes wide open and the mouth that won't shut up plays Amy Townsend, a writer for a men's magazine called S'Nuff.
Not that Amy, a self-described "sexual girl" with a serious aversion to long-term relationships - or any relationship that lasts beyond the morning after - has trouble hooking up. But then she's assigned to do a profile on Dr. Aaron Conners (a terrific Bill Hader), a sports medicine specialist with a roster of superstar clients.
Amy couldn't care less about professional athletes. (Asked what her favorite teams are, she stumbles through an ad-libbed list, ending with "the Orlando . . . Bloom"). But something happens when she and Aaron start talking - in his office, over drinks, and then in bed.
She likes him. A lot. And the feeling is mutual.
The little girl whose father (Colin Quinn) made her and her sister recite "monogamy is not realistic" over and over again is finally face-to-face with a man she enjoys being around once the sex is over. And the sex isn't bad, either.
Schumer, whose stand-up career and Comedy Central series have earned her a passionate following (and a handful of decriers who find her too dirty, too much like, well, a male comedian), is poised for some serious stardom. Not only did she write Trainwreck - smoothly switching tracks from raunchy copulatory one-liners to compulsory rom-com schmaltz to emotionally raw business about commitment, family, self-image, and self-destructiveness - but she owns the movie. Like Woody Allen in his hey-est of heydays (Annie Hall, Manhattan), Schumer takes center stage, all her neuroses on display, her persona a mix of killer wit and witless behavior. (There's a Manhattan gag in the movie, by the way. It stings.)
Trainwreck is Schumer's movie, to be sure, but she and Apatow have handpicked a prized lineup of supporting players - some old cohorts, and some from surprising quarters. Hader, easygoing and affable, is no slouch in the comedy department, and he turns out to be a charming leading man, too. Tilda Swinton, brittle, British, and fashionably bewigged, plays Amy's boss with hysterical haughtiness. Mike Birbiglia is an unexpected mensch of a brother-in-law; Brie Larson is Amy's got-her-act-together younger sis; Evan Brinkman is Amy's impossibly earnest, precocious nephew, and Quinn, as a foulmouthed and unfaithful dad, a diehard Mets fan now in the latter stages of MS, has never been funnier.
But who knew LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers star, could have a second career as a screen thespian? Well, Apatow and Schumer knew. As one of Aaron's celebrity patients, James makes fun of his LeBron-ness, doing a kind of Jack Benny cheapskate thing and warning Amy that she better not go and break his best bud's heart. With deadpan aplomb, James slyly mocks his own superstar image, bringing lighthearted conviction to the role of Aaron's friend, and getting off some of the movie's funniest lines while he's at it.
NBA power forward Amar'e Stoudemire also appears as himself, and as one of Aaron's knee surgery patients. He's no LeBron, but he has chops, too.
Trainwreck is anything but. The movie's heroine may smoke too much weed, drink too much booze, and have sex with too many men, but the woman who plays her has her act together. Consummately.