Our plucky entertainment editor calls these things “romcoms”, which I’d always assumed was film industry jargon for ‘boring’.
There are obvious exceptions, Shaun of the Dead being the most notable, a romantic comedy raised to the level of excellence through the judicious use of zombies and the superb comic duo that is Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
That said, and I’m veering way off track here (just go ahead and skip the next few paragraphs if you’re eager for me to get to the point), it takes more than a bit of grey make-up and a shuffling gait to drag a romcom out of the smuggy-lovey murk.
If you don’t believe me, try watching the 2013 flick Warm Bodies, in which the power of love manages to transform the undead unto the, er, un-undead.
It doesn’t work. You can’t have zombies capable of self analysis any more than you can have vampires strolling around in broad daylight – Stephanie Meyer, I’m looking at you (and while my attention is thus fixed, Ms Meyer, let it be known that I hold you personally responsible for the clogging up of the paranormal fantasy genre with bodice-rippers. Not. Happy.).
Anyway, so Trainwreck is a “romcom” utterly devoid of zombies, but it’s alright, even though, as you may have guessed, it’s not quite in my preferred genre.
The premise is interesting and challenges social stereotypes about women, at least at first. Amy, played by the film’s writer Amy Schumer, is a commitment-phobic pick-up artist who drinks too much, smokes dope and whose love life is a series of frequent one-night stands.
The story tracks Amy’s Pinocchio-like transformation into a real girl who sloughs off her cynicism and bad habits to embrace her inner cheerleader and fall for Mr Right – Aaron Conners.
Along the way there are some terrific gags. Her first “boyfriend” in the film, John Cena, delivers some rippers, and there are some brief but excellent cameos by Daniel Radcliffe and Matthew Broderick (who I will go to my grave calling Ferris Bueller).
My overall verdict: it’s watchable enough, even if you’re not into romantic comedies, and it’s certainly not boring.