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‘Trainwreck ‘Review: Two Smutty Hours of Sporadically Funny Slut-Shaming

Like every overrated Judd Apatow comedy, “Trainwreck” is overlong, uneven, indulgent, loaded with countless unnecessary scenes, and filled with sleazy sexual situations so uncomfortable you just want them to end. There are also a few hearty laughs mixed with real heart.

What’s most surprising, though, is the film’s moralizing. Boiled down, “Trainwreck” is nothing more than a 124 minute slut-shaming video, every bit as heavy-handed and judgmental as one of those high school drivers-ed movies that warn against drinking.

Which is odd, because according to the latest memo from The Department of Newspeak, slut-shaming is verboten; politically incorrect; a patriarchal attack on women’s empowerment; a sexist attempt to control women.

Apatow mentored the Queen of the anti-slut shaming movement — Lena Dunham.

What is going on here?

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Despite all the campaigning and emotional-blackmail, everyone knows that slutty behavior is not only unattractive but a symptom of a deeply troubled soul.  As much as the Left might want to normalize loveless hook-ups and pretend that promiscuity — a behavior infinitely more dangerous (and costly to taxpayers) than cigarette smoking — is just another lifestyle choice, you can’t hide Truth on a 90 foot screen for two hours. The movie just wouldn’t work.

So the left-wing Apatow and his feminist screenwriter and star, Amy Schumer, chose Truth and the result is heavy-duty slut-shaming.

Amy (Schumer) is a thirty-something serial tramp and borderline alcoholic who only takes a break from either to dabble in illegal drugs and occasionally write for the bottom-feeding magazine (S’nuff) that employs her. Every night’s a party for Amy, a night that ends her waking up hungover in a bedroom she doesn’t recognize and hopes isn’t a dorm room.

A writing assignment she doesn’t want leads to a meet-cute between Amy and sports doctor Aaron Connors (Bill Hader, channeling a young David Letterman). Without any explanation or chemistry, the two fall for one another, and all the tried and true and predictably creaky elements of the mainstream Hollywood romcom kick into gear.

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Schumer is terrific in her screen debut. Like the best comedians, Schumer can carry a dramatic scene every bit as believably as the funny stuff. As Amy’s serial-offending father, Colin Quinn is so good you wish he had more scenes and had been given all the curmudgeon roles wasted on Bill Murray this past decade. In a supporting role as Aaron’s best friend, LeBron James deadpans as well as he dunks.

Apatow is one of our most flawed major directors; there is no question, though, that he is very good at coaxing memorable performances from actors out of their element.

Apatow’s flaws, unfortunately, overwhelm “Trainwreck.” Just when you start to buy into the story, Apatow indulges himself with yet another pointless scene. Just when you’re charmed by something like Apatow’s tribute to “Manhattan,” Woody Allen’s most iconic moment is promptly and intentionally debased by the spectacle of Schumer giving the man next to her a blow job.

There’s an appealing movie in “Trainwreck.” But it is no longer than 90 minutes and doesn’t confuse smut with being clever. The anti-slut message is a healthy one. The journey just isn’t worth your time.

 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC               

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