Like it or not, Amy Schumer is on the rise. After hosting the 2015 MTV Movie Awards and landing a successful sketch comedy show, it’s hard to ignore the potty mouthed comedian. For me, Schumer’s brand of mostly sexual humor is hit or miss. But with a hefty cast and seasoned director Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), I had high expectations for Schumer’s first venture onto the big screen.
Schumer stars as Amy, seemingly a caricature of herself in her stand-up routines. Amy spends her days working for her shallow boss (Tilda Swinton like you’ve never seen her before) at a raunchy magazine and her nights being a promiscuous alcoholic. Her conservative sister (Brie Larson) frowns upon her behavior and her foul mouthed father is a direct negative influence (Colin Quinn). In true romantic comedy fashion, her life takes a turn when she begins to fall for a dinky, yet charming athletic surgeon (Bill Hader) who just happens to be bff’s with NBA superstar Lebron James.
Schumer wrote the film. And like with her stand-up and her sketch comedy, her jokes are often hit and/or miss depending on who you are. Sometimes she’s awkwardly hilarious and other times her gags feel redundant or misplaced. But for the most part, Schumer shines in her writing. The story feels refreshing even though we’ve seen this Hitch routine before. And her characters are all relatively likable or entertaining even if their actually lousy people (Swinton and Quinn’s characters in particular). The cast, from charismatic comedian Bill Hader to a surprisingly funny Lebron James, all shine throughout and help make the movie feel less like the predictable rom-com, even if it is relatively formulaic.
In true Judd Apatow fashion, the movie feels a bit long. It also seems a bit odd that a film written by a woman who frequently professes no shame in a crazy, bachelorette lifestyle, would spend an hour and a half virtually shaming the behavior. It kind of seemed like a missed opportunity to address the double standards in the behaviors of single men and women. But anywho… a raunchy romantic comedy is what Schumer wrote, and a raunchy romantic comedy is what you get; filled with all of the laughs and endearing moments that a watchable film in the genre should have, but without anything truly unique.
FINAL GRADE: B